Thursday, May 23, 2013

all of it is incredible






On occasion around here, the wind howls and shrieks as if the dead have been raised. More often than not, it happens as we’re trying to sleep. One such night a few years ago, in its rage, it ripped off part of a dying tree next to our house. Several branches the size of tree trunks fell into the jumble of blackberries and ivy and morning glories and nettles in the hillside next to our house. After the storm, we hired an arborist to come and remove the rest of the hulking tree. As the crew was finishing up, about to remove the base of the trunk, I stopped them. I couldn’t imagine eagles not sitting there, as they always do, next to my bedroom. Eventually that snag will have to go, once it rots enough to become unstable, but for now, it is a well-used perch. Earlier this spring, I noticed wood shavings on part of our deck below it. When I looked to find their source, I discovered the bill and head of a woodpecker sticking out of a hole in the snag. The home it made for itself is eye level with our bedroom window. Shortly afterward I learned that male woodpeckers make a lot of noise in their efforts to attract a mate. A neighbor told me “our” woodpecker had been pecking on the metal chimney of their house early in the morning. Her husband tried to get it to stop by turning on their gas fireplace, but the heat didn’t deter its efforts. Soon, perhaps, a whole family of birds will inhabit the nest. Every morning, when I get out of bed I look outside and I listen for the sound of babies, and I always see the woodpecker, sitting with his head and bill poked out of the nest, taking in the morning.

I realized the other day we’ve lived in this house longer than we lived in our first house. It always felt like we’d lived there forever. I asked Cal if he remembers it, the house we brought him home from the hospital to, and he said he doesn’t, really. Abbott used to crawl around the Caribbean green kitchen floor while I cooked. I would make conversation about the refrigerator magnets –  “Where is the Q?” – and he would grab it, before he could even say the letters. We moved here when Cal was three and Abbott was in kindergarten, and now Abbott is about to graduate from fifth grade.

An aura of general surliness has developed around here while I make dinner. The boys have gotten a little edgy about doing their homework, with only three weeks of school left.  For my part, I’ve gone a little crazy too. I make asparagus almost every night, steamed, boiled, roasted. And almost always, I envision it with fish, so that’s how we have it. A friend was over for dinner last week, and her baby daughter tried the halibut I’d made, but not the asparagus. I love knowing that she ate her first fish here.

Abbott, at 10 ¾ years old, is well on his way to becoming a teenager. He closes the door to his room, now, and expects people to knock. The little boy version of him is still around, too; he kept on his costume for his upcoming class play all afternoon, and was sure that if someone saw him take out the garbage in it they would wonder if they’d time traveled to the 19th century. He wore his dress shoes with it on the way to the garbage can, for good measure. Cal still asks the hard questions, as he’s done since he could form sentences. Alexi puts toothpaste on my toothbrush for me every night, as he has always done. No matter where we’re at, we have each other. Things change, and things remain the same. All of it is incredible.

12 comments:

JCrossleyHoward said...

Sounds like Cal could be a budding journalist!

Jenna said...

I can relate to the teenager part Lecia. Mia is in her room right now, agitated about homework, with her door closed. She just told us not to bother her and knock before coming in. Oh boy.

Purple Flowers said...

It's love.

chai ling said...

i was smiling when reading this post of yours. and L the husband spotted my joy when he entered the room 'why the smile facing the computer screen?' i quick picked a line and read to him telling him how i love the way you wrote. he acknowledged and recognized the sentence by saying 'orh. it's about the kids were smaller then'. following your post is like part of a slice of weekends. sending our hello from Singapore :)

Cindy Johnson said...

I love reading your blog as the last thing before going to sleep. It is always so heart warming and leaves me feeling inspired with a sense of calm. Thank you for sharing! I look forward to each new entry...

Beth Coulton said...

I agree with Cindy's comment above! Your posts are always thoughtful, soothing, thought-provoking, peaceful and introspective. Love them! I feel as if I know your family even though I've never met any of you. One day I'll find myself in Seattle for some reason and I will look you up!

Beth Coulton said...

I forgot to say that yes, all of it IS incredible. I love the title of your post. I'm amazed at life every single day I live it. I am so blessed. There is so much to be seen and found if we will only look for it, and recognize it when we see it. Your writing reflects that every time you post-give thanks for the simple things in life; which, when we stop and think about it, really are the big things.

jenny said...

We have been in that space, too... luckily, school lets out early here this year--today is the last day! It's funny that you wrote this story about the woodpecker yesterday as I went on a hike with Micah's class and we saw a red-breasted sapsucker. There was a biologist along who told us that in the spring the males always look for the loudest possible surface to peck, usually stove pipes or roof flashing, because the rhythm actually sends out a coded mating call. He wants it to be loud and spread far and wide! So you can tell your neighbor it will stop as soon as he finds a mate :)

jenny said...

And I know I realize that you already wrote that! Hello me, I SOOO need a summer break, too!

Dawn said...

You share so much of yourself here, and I am always left feeling grateful for your openness and honesty. I love knowing that there are people like you in the world. Who observe, contemplate, and value the little things in life. Which actually aren't little at all.

xoxo

molly said...

All incredible, indeed.

I so look forward to your words, Lecia, as powerful as images. Mindfully chosen, carefully recounted, artfully assembled.

And yes, 10 3/4, it's all that.

Happy almost-summer to you,

M

Denise | Chez Danisse said...

My husband put toothpaste on my toothbrush for me one night this week. It was the first time. Funny how that coincides with my reading your post here.