Home sweet home

July 28, 2005 - 2:16 pm Comments Off on Home sweet home

There were just now 8 blue jays sitting in my fig tree outside, screaming at each other over the fruit. They were also fending off some cardinals and what sounded like some large finches. It is summer now, and the locusts sing in the afternoons, a staccato rise and fall outside like breathing. In the evenings the crickets chirp. Did you know that if you count the number of cricket chirps in 15 seconds and add 39, that will tell you the temperature in Fahrenheit?

At night a little solo tree frog pips from around the front porch. Sometimes an owl hoots in the back yard, although he’s not been around much this year. The deer are thick in the yards, the males still in velvet, the does with babies.

The elm tree in the back has started the slow inexorable process of losing its leaves. It seems early to me this year, and I wonder if we will have an early winter. In the meantime the dogs romp around in the yard and scatter the yellowed leaves on the ground hither and fro, making meaningless canine patterns which I will try to read like tea leaves from a cup.

New York City is the diametrical opposite of this laid-back existence, but in some ways it parallels. Instead of locusts wailing in the evening, the fire engines do. Instead of blue jays screaming, the horns do. The swirling elm leaves become the mass of people swirling around you as you walk. There are so many that you become part of the leaves and are swept up in the same gust of wind that carries all the rest.

It’s a nice place to visit, but I am so glad to be home.

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