It is dark now when I wake. Fall is coming, though the air is still summer-steamy. The moon winks good morning and good-bye, in a sky that has turned from midnight blue to indigo. I watch as the sun, heralded by streaks of peach-tinged clouds, slowly rises, and the sky fades to bleached denim. A blue jay screams as he tries to land in the kitchen window bird feeder. He swoops and tries again, then heads back to the trees to tell of his adventures. I drink my coffee as the cats take their morning nap. Rosh Hashanah comes early this year. Soon—despite the heat—I’ll be baking loaves of round challah and simmering a pot of golden pumpkin soup for the new year.
lush green leaves and grass
harbor blue birds and brown squirrels—
one red-gold leaf falls
This Haibun is for dVerse, where Mish asked us to write about morning, and also for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday. For this 100th challenge, she left the words to us!
Just before dawn, the mockingbird sings, an extensive string of melodies. Does he advertise his riches, or is he protecting his nest? I listen, captivated by his song. I take a mental snapshot of this moment to hold it tight within my cache of memories. Marked for now, but memories do not stay fixed on a map. The maple tree in which the mockingbird sits is ravaged by disease, and soon it will be cut, leaving only a stump. The birds will have to move on, flying into the air–soon gone like a thought.
–Jim Harrison, “Tomorrow,” In Search of Small Gods
Every day the world awakens anew. I wake to the sound of birdsong–twitters, chirps, the laugh of the woodpecker. I laugh, too. It’s a beautiful June morning. I drink coffee while a cat purrs on my lap. I stand in sunshine, and later I smell petrichor rising from the damp grass as the world—or my little part of it—is washed clean. I’m hoping to be astonished tomorrow by what I don’t know—more people who appreciate the earth, who believe in truth and value what is good. Our cups can never be too full. There is always room in this world for more beauty, more love.
I walk out into the dark morning. I can’t see him, but I am serenaded by the mockingbird. Soon snow mixes with the plothering rain. But still the daffodils bloom, glowing in the gloomy day. As the rain disappears, the skies lighten, and I notice the grape hyacinths at the side of the driveway. Were they there yesterday? I smile at the sight of the perky purple flowers. I have faith that spring will soon come–and stay—until pushed aside by summer’s heat. Before long, we will stroll through the Azalea Garden at the art museum, dazzled by the pink, coral, and red flowers. Their warm fragrance will scent our memories when the cold returns.
Today, the vernal equinox, snow dances lightly in the air, turning to large, white flakes that cover the grass and cars. Soon, sleet pounds against the windows. The wind blows in angry gusts—winter rages at having to let spring back into the world. I think of how tomorrow children will wake to a silent world of white. They will happily build snowmen and make snow angels, while the daffodils and tulips wait for the sun to return, and for the snow to melt to nourish their roots.
In between nor’easters, we take a spur-of-the-moment day trip. We look at paintings of people now gone and places that no longer exist except in memories. We see landscapes of lush verdant woods that contrast with western desert landscapes featuring windmills, swimming pools, and ranch hands. Outside the museum, we walk around the patches of snow. Suddenly I notice the glowing forsythia bushes vibrant and defiant, rising from the white blanket at their roots to greet the sun. Though it’s fighting to remain, winter will soon be gone. We only need to wait a bit longer.
This is a tanka for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday. Colleen asked us to write a poem using synonyms for “renew” and “fresh.” I was walking by this window that looks out at our back yard, just as the snowstorm on Wednesday was starting to pick up. This robin by the oak tree caught my eye, and I quickly took a photo through the window.
On the day of the nor’easter, I finish reviewing the page proofs of my book. The sun comes out. I ponder new projects, while watching birds perch and peck at the feeder hanging at our kitchen window—finches with their red feather patches demonstrate the feeder’s pecking order. A tufted titmouse, nuthatches, and even a woodpecker fly in for a snack. Robins congregate in the street, discussing the weather and current events before flying up to a tree to chatter at the squirrels. The days grow longer, and despite the wind and snow, the daffodils are rising from the ground. They are not deterred by icy gusts. Momentary setbacks. They know spring is coming. So do I. I simply have to get through the next snowstorm—it’s coming, too.
March’s lion roars,
frost-breath lays a filigree—
budding branches bide
We’re supposed to get another nor’easter tonight into tomorrow with several inches of snow expected.