A bit of peace


Too tiny to spot easily or photograph, a spiderling launching its kite ended up as an iPad drawing for me.

Two evenings ago I tumbled out of a wheelchair and sprained an ankle good and proper.  Ever since about 80% of my day goes into reclining in my power wheelchair contemplating ceiling patterns or binge watching Netflix and Amazon Prime.  High winds, cold rain, and low temperatures kept me away from the great outdoors, as represented by the small back yard with its various large trees.

Today, however, features our traditional mid-New Mexico blue, blue skies and warm afternoons. Out we went, the dogs and me, to refresh our spirits.  Elf the Corgi has been having back trouble and loves lying in the warm sun, while Opus the Dachs-Terr loves sniffing around, chasing bird shadows … and lying in the warm sun.

Being in nature pulls me back to my center, my sense of place on this little planet that once felt so endless.  Today I went out there feeling a bit sorry for myself, a bit woozy and dazed and a bit being very, very ready for a change.

With feet higher than my head the change began with a brief texting session with my daughter far away, before it moved abruptly into familiar sounds tumbling down.  Cranes going over!  Their bugle-y notes brought back images of thousands of tall, grand looking birds in large alfalfa fields all around the area.  For fifteen years I lived across a small street from such a field, freely observing the excitement of mass landings and takeoffs all winter.  The soft grey of their feathers stands out against the taupe colored ground as delicately as a Japanese painting.  Half their year is spent here, the other half far north for the nesting period.  Missing them during the summer is enough to make me anticipate winter.

Next came two V platoons of ducks, the rushing air whooshes of their wings unheard so far below.  Perhaps they were on their hungry way to a small marshy area in town.  I couldn’t make out field marks without binoculars, so to me this was Duck on an urgent errand.  Like companionably stuffing themselves.

The next flight of the afternoon was of a creature not always beloved even when they fascinate such individuals as me, one whose grace and aeronautical skills go generally unacknowledged.  Despite many recent nights in the 20s, several spiderlings crossed my yard, high above the trees.  Detectable by the sun shining on their fine silk threads, they were kiting along to random destinations where they might find just what they need to survive the winter, tucked into tree bark or leaf litter.  Or be met with cans of Raid.

Last came a jet higher than the birds, and uncharacteristically without any sort of contrail.  Which made me, mystery book lover that I am, imagine something furtive in its presence way up there.  For a moment it even pretended to resemble a bird. However ….  sigh …. it was probably full of uncomfortable passengers en route to Dallas/Fort Worth or points east.  Which, come to think of it, is a good thing.  Passenger flights of late have not always gotten to where they were going, in one piece.

My take on all this, as my puffy ankle shrank down a bit above the rest of me, was pretty basic, but nonetheless profound, to me.  To batten down and get through the bad times, then burst into eager life the moment conditions are right.  Lift up, flap, launch your kite into a friendly warm breeze and never forget that there will always be good times ahead.


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