by Philip Viens, Circkles contributing writer.
There’s a crow outside my window
Hopping along the road, announcing – something.
Only the finch in a neighbor’s tree answers, the pink and orange leaves now stripped after yesterday’s wind and rain – colder, it would have been sleet – but they lay scattered in the wet green grass while a weakening summer clings to this hemisphere between Earth and tropopause – the thin places.
I touch my fingers to my lips and look out the window, the crow, now in the distance still with something to say.
It’s as if I am the only human creature, the crow, the finch the tumbling leaves.
The gentle wind that blows through the wind chimes, the hillside of golden-yellow beneath a pallid bank of cloud – praying as the incense of decaying leaves fills the air.
Last evening a great gaggle of geese feasted on corn in the stubble of the cornfield, joined by a dozen or so deer. It was the most beautiful sound, the most beautiful sight, the silhouette of the geese and the deer and the sunset – vespers before the long quiet night.
I’m emancipating magic spiders. I do not hear them come in – not a buzz – wondering what they’d sound like with shoes. I simply look and there is one – on the floor, motionless, knows I see it. I walk as if I don’t, we are both aware of each other, two creatures, to the cupboard for a jar and a piece of cardboard then quickly settle the jar over the magic spider, gently scooping the thin piece of cardboard beneath the jar until the spider sits on top of it and beneath the dome of the jar. We walk to the door and I set them free and they scurry off, across the wooden planks of the deck and down its side. But then I think, am I emancipating them? Did they come in the house for warmth? Likely. But it seems clear to me that they are as uncomfortable being in the house as I am having them here. What am I to the spider? Predator? Foe? Breakfast? To me, the spider is not fully understood but understood enough that I think I’d rather have the walls of the house be our dividing walls. I’m happier for it being outside but it may not share my feelings.
But God is God and we are not and so I listen – for what the crow is telling me, what the finch is signing to me, what the geese chatter to me of what they know – that life is gossamer – fading – wisps of sublimity.
God is God – and I am not.
© Philip W. Viens, 09 April 2016