After a week or two of rainy days, we finally had a brief few days of sunshine. They didn’t come all at the same time but were welcome none the less. Yesterday was one of those. Well, it wasn’t raining anyway. The sky was cloudy and overcast but there was no precipitation falling from the sky and I could go without a coat. So I decided to put on a light sweater and make the most of the afternoon after my morning errands were run. I took my camera and I went to the park.
We have several parks in my town and a long walking path called the Greenway where you can pretty much walk through two-thirds of the city. I chose Fletcher Park because it usually isn’t as crowded and there are more wild spots left. If I wanted to drive further I could have gone to one of the nearby National Parks, but yesterday was just about relaxing for a few hours. I didn’t have time for a full-blown exploratory adventure. I just wanted some down time with nature.
Today the chill is back in the air and the overcast skies are pelting the world with cold rain once again. The brief respite has allowed some of the flood waters in the area to recede just a little but I am afraid that won’t last long the way the rain is falling today. The forecast for the rest of the week looks just as gloomy. The squirrels and other animals will once again be safe from my amateur paparazzi attempts for some time.
I’m writing this on a Tuesday morning before getting ready for work. I have a new coffee mug that states “Mornings are for Coffee and contemplation”. It is actually from the Netflix show Stranger Things, but I have wanted one ever since I saw a character drinking from it. Not because of the show but because I liked the mug. I like the show too of course, though I haven’t seen the second season yet. I am waiting to watch it with my eldest child and teenagers rarely have time for moms.
Anyway, I am rambling about the wrong thing. What I wanted to ramble about is the tree in my neighbor’s yard. The reason I like my new mug is that it reminds me to set aside time just to be, to sip a cup of coffee or tea and look around the world instead of just rushing through it. I am trying to be better at doing that.
So, I was sitting in my favorite chair with a hot cup of coffee and my front door wide open. The only light was from the door and the windows because I wasn’t quite ready for artificial light yet. I heard the cicadas singing and there was a light breeze rustling the flag still attached to my porch from the 4th of July. I had the passing thought that these five minutes of my morning sound like the beginning of some sort of patriotic commercial or political ad campaign. Then I notice the gentle trembling of green leaves.
My across the street neighbor has a huge tree in her front yard that squirrels delight in. The wind this morning just teased its boughs while it was bathed in early sunlight. I waxed poetically inside my head about how pleasant the morning was and how nice it was to watch the oak tree across the street, and then promptly tripped over my own thoughts. Was the tree across the street an oak? Maybe it’s a maple?
I got up from my chair and moved to the door with my coffee so I could squint at the foliage, trying to make out a single leaf. The wind picked up just enough to toss a couple of yellowing small ones from a top branch. They twisted and danced as they fell to the ground, making it impossible for me to tell what they looked like. My morning contemplation has been filled with: “Is it a maple or an oak?”
I am pretty sure the tree is a oak. Maples around here aren’t usually so big. If it is a maple tree it is very old. I could just walk across the street and look but that feels too much like giving in.