Along for the ride:

Saturday, February 21, 2009


This morning was a cacophony of birds. Chirping, cheeping, warbling, whistling; a few who could hold a tune performing and competing, as if they too had heard the weather forecast and knew that time was short.
At lunch-time we watched the bees in the ornamental pear by the dining room window. In and out of the bright-white blossoms. Busy, busy; Now or never. 
By 3pm the trees are restless. The sky is a uniform pale grey; not too menacing yet, but this will not be an evening where dark hesitates politely at the threshold.
I take the dog for a walk an hour early this afternoon, unsure if we would make it later without bringing home gallons of water on her full, furry, collie coat. Diva likes the promise-wind before the rain. Her pointy nose gathers messages that her old ears cannot hear. She smiles into the wind. Diva was a puppy in the El Niño years; she loves puddles and saturated playing fields.
We have had a few days' break since the last rain. Gardeners have tidied up the ripped-paper strips of eucalyptus bark. The fat, pink camellias lusciously carpeting the ground are decaying, no longer perfect as they were last week. My invincibly bright daffodils, relentlessly beaten into translucent defeat have been replaced by a new army, stoically ready to face their fate.
As we head for home I see a newly flowering white Camellia by a neighbor's wall. Tight geometric blooms perfect and pristine as new snow. The round buds a suspended hail storm hovering over the dark, shiny leaves.
Sound-effects from a tall palm tree. Dry clack-clacking of old, untrimmed palm leaves; each desiccated, cricket-colored layer rubbing on those of the year below.
Today is Saturday. We will surely wake tomorrow to the sound of rain. Comfortably cocooned in our beds, sleeping easily in the fake darkness.
Later Diva will have her fun. She doesn't know it yet but tomorrow is bath-day for her anyway.

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