☕️ The Quotidian

A Saturday Caesura

The penultimate load of laundry is flop-thumping in the dryer. My husband is using my hairdryer to blast away the moisture that somehow crept inside the truck’s left headlight. Beans for chili are in the pressure cooker; hamburger is cooked and on standby at the back of the stove. Two days ago it was -30C and the wind sculpted mounds of ditch-snow into elegant waves and flying buttresses. Today it is 5C and the wind is whipping up some wave action on a lake in the driveway and infusing breath into the tarp that covers the woodpile — it inhales and exhales like the slumbering mass of a forest-green monster. A raven hoover-maneuvers through the swaying trees across the road, changes its mind about landing, banks sharply north and soars up up away. I saw the bald eagle again the other day, wing-winging and gliding towards somewhere with characteristic casual determination and cloaked disinterest. I wonder why he decided to winter here — not uncommon, but not normal, either. I like seeing him. I always look for the white bookends and wide wing span that distinguish him from the more common raven. I need to refill the birdfeeder. Not for the ravens, of course, but the chickadees redpolls nuthatches blue jays downy woodpeckers pine grosbeaks. They’ve peppered the snow with cast-off seed shells. I wonder how they stay unfrozen when cold keeps everything unthawed. A magpie is squawking about something; its annoyance annoys everyone else. Inside, the dryer sings its I’m-done-ditty. The pressure cooker beeps perfunctorily. Done. The truck now has its eyeball reinstalled, all weepiness wiped away. I need to fold socks, shirts, underwear, pants, towels. Then I’ll throw some burger and spices and onion and tomato into the beans and let it simmer long into chili. Two overripe bananas suggest muffin making.

Each day is a quotidian of ordinary moments and observations threaded together into a chain of memories, experiences, and routines that form the chords of character, which eventually twine together into a stout and sturdy rope of life. Today, I think life is less about making each moment count and more about giving each moment the weight it is due. ▫️

☀️ Feasting

A Sunday Doxology

Praise to the Creator of all—

You fill the skies with birds that sing

and swoop and dive and flit and swim,

but can’t sow or reap or build barns

yet feast on abundant goodness

because you care for each of them.

Of how much more value are we

who walk and work and till the ground,

we who live and move and have breath

because you breathed in us your life,

and ever mindful of us, you

set eternity in our hearts

that we might ever sing your praise

and feast at your table of grace.

🌿What I Noticed

This poem didn’t make it from my writing notebook to this space yesterday like it was supposed to. Something else interrupted. It was an important something. So today I’ll post two poems – unless important things interrupt again.

What I noticed today:

a giant moon tucking itself away

clouds leisurely floating through the day

birds making time for play

In a world floundering in fear and dismay

I just needed to notice peace today.

🌿Spa Day

First there was sunshine, spreading warmth with rich generosity

then there was a puddle, not too deep, beneath a spreading willow tree.

Then the clients swooped in like a —well, exactly like a flock of excitable Redpolls.

The spa rotation was simple and chaotic:

– pre-warming on willow branch of choice (loosen up with wing stretches)

– puddle-time (include frenzied wriggling, splashing, dipping for optimum benefits)

– post-warming on willow branch again (perfect for extensive deep-preening, fluffing, feather-setting)

Rotate. Rotate again and again and again

until every speck of cold and dark and winter is cleaned from every feather

until every drudgery of the day is bathed in utter delight.

The Sound of Music

A Saturday Caesura

Working at home under self-isolation guidelines made for a quiet week. No bells. No hallway bedlam. No whispery undercurrent while I’m expounding the rules of subject-verb agreement. No bursts of laughter. No heated discussions. Just the ding dings of incoming mail and messages, my own voice the clatter of a Chromebook keypad.

Into this world of disrupted sound, I pause to listen. A train bellows its warnings (always 4 times). The neighbour’s broken-muffler car rumbles my sleep. Coyotes yelp at nothing and everything. Birds flutter and gossip at the feeder; geese honk on-the-wing. Water drip drips from the eaves, a gentle affront to the freezing silence of winter.

Into this percussion of life beyond isolation, I pause to play my piano (2 times), and the notes falter and trip, having endured their own long season of winter. My fingers search for a voice frozen by grief, hurt, discouragement. It’s a soft voice, hardly more than a pianissimo drip drip, but it is there and maybe spring will thaw this silence, too.