Sunday, July 26, 2009

A sip of summer~

A sip of summer


Collect shells along the beach.
Pocket them till they rattle as you walk.

Pour shells into an eight ounce glass.
Add warm, golden sunlight.

Savor in small sips all year long.
Summer's glow keeps well

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time. ~John Lubbock

Monday, July 20, 2009

Mama Peach~

"Mama Peach" is on her nest this morning, and something in her eye--a watchful but calm and peaceful glint--makes me feel envious of her leafy retreat in the peach tree.

I begin my summer mornings with a walk around the yard, cup of coffee in hand. The cat trails behind me, stopping to wash when I pause to inspect the blooms or pull a few weeds.

The peach tree hangs heavy with an offering that should be ready next month. I inspect the soft peach-fuzzy fruit in the morning sun from several angles, the way I would if I had my camera.

And that's how I discover Mama Peach's nest.

There is no bird on the nest, but three eggs wait in the nest's deep bowl. I try not to worry that the eggs are unattended. It's early in the day, and robins--quintessential early birds--leave their nests to grab worms before the heat drives them to wriggle deeper underground. Besides, a mother robin often doesn't settle on the eggs until she is through laying--four being the average number of eggs per nest--to ensure that the babies hatch at pretty much the same time.

So I trust nature to manage what it's done so well for time immemorial. And there are multitudes of robins in the yard to bolster my faith.

But I do peer daily through the peach boughs, and I'm always relieved when I see Mama Peach sitting, immobile and camouflaged, on her nest.

Today she looked so content that I found myself wistful. Her task, needing only time and patience, requires her to remain still and out of life's spotlight. Seeing her reminded me of the times years ago when I'd settle in a quiet room, rocking the baby at my breast to sleep. I heard life go on around me: muffled conversations from the other room, the TV, the ringing phone. I knew what was happening. Like Mama Peach, I was hidden, but not apart. I felt as content then as Mama Peach looks now. She reminds me of the pleasure such quiet interludes bring.

By the time the peaches are ready for picking, Mama Peach will be caring for her babies. I'll wait patiently for fruit and fledglings. Some things deserve time.

“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.”
~C.S. Lewis

Saturday, July 11, 2009

How old are you now?

I stopped in the local pet shop the other day to buy meal worms for the remaining class pet, one of two sweet girl geckos I brought home when I retired a year ago. She's . . . can she be 9 now? Her sister died recently, and this one--Tillie or Lizzie, I never kept them straight--lives alone in the aquarium that has prime real estate in the living room . . . so I won't forget to feed her. And, okay, so she'll have "socialization," such as it is. Sometimes she gets more attention than I do, but that's a post for another time.

I live in a home of old creatures. An old gecko, and old cat, who at 18 is amazingly youthful despite her missing teeth, and gives me more attention--and eye contact--than my husband (also old) does. But this is for the other post I mentioned.

I'd made a comment to the woman at the pet store, a joke really, about having mid-life issues. And then I thought, "Midlife. Who am I kidding?" To be truly MIDDLE aged I will have to live to 116.

I got a book from the library the other day, Memory Lessons: A Doctor's Story, a memoir by a gerontologist who writes of his father's Alzheimer's disease. He calls his father the "oldest old."

It seems that in the world of gerontology "old" has been split and redefined in several categories. Age sixty-five to seventy-four is considered "old." Those between seventy-five and eighty-four are labeled "old old." And the "oldest old" are eighty-five and up.
The young me

I'm none of those yet, but I hope to become each of them in due time. I'm "old mid-life" if I may create my own label, but I feel ageless inside. As my father said in his latter years, "I feel like the young me looking out of the same eyes." I guess this is why mirrors or photos provide a jolt. Who is that old middle aged person that looks a little like me?

May I someday be among the oldest old?

Yes, please!
Old age isn't so bad when you consider the alternative. ~Maurice Chevalier