Some animal vomited all over the base of a plant in my garden. Not a pleasant sight. We ignored it for a couple of days, then it hardened, and Alf hacked at it with a spade and dumped it into a plastic bag and deposited it in the garbage, which goes out tomorrow.
I mention this because not everything is pretty in my garden.
Occasionally I come across the body of a dead bird on the ground. This usually happens when it bangs into a window. But I have learned to leave it alone because it could be just stunned into unconsciousness and eventually, after a few hours, it will come to and fly off. I can’t think of how many “dead” birds I’ve thrown away when they probably could have survived.
Have I mentioned that every pet we have ever owned, when it died, we buried in the garden? From Chico the ring-neck parrot, Eternity our Siamese, Baxter and Jones, our two parakeets, and Gwen our Springer Spaniel. Right now their burial plots are springing up flowers. Their bones have fertilized the soil and given new life to lovely plants that house hummingbirds and butterflies.
“The circle of life,” Alf said.
“I wonder what the vomit could have produced,” I said.
“Maggots,” Alf said.
“Don’t they make good fertilizer?”
“Not if you want creepy crawlies underfoot.”
Calvin says, “Don’t you bury me in the back when my time comes. I want to be let free in wild grasses to frolic all day long.”
I like gawking at trees in their fall display. They’re so beautiful it hurts. The magentas, coppers, and dark greens flush out the year’s heaviness and replace it with an invigorating renewal of crisp air. I’m always amazed at the audacity of such a riot of color while in the throes of dying. I’m sure there’s a message there, but it eludes me at the moment. I’m too busy staring at the color palette.
I feel the same way in the spring when the cherry and dogwood trees are bursting with blooms. I walk under them and look up. They envelope me in their translucent petals, the whisper of fragrance, and a delicate air. There’s a message here too, but I’m transported.
Few things like these two seasons renew me like this. Not fireworks on the fourth of July, or a roaring ocean in the summer, or even a frolicking puppy.
I’m sure I’m not alone in this. Millions feel the same way. But having lived my life in countries with no fall foliage or springtime delights, I’m always arrested by these beauties. They’re gifts. They renew my soul.
Spring points to hope and a new beginning. Fall alerts to the death of all things, but in a dignified and magnificent way. We need to go out with a blazing splash. I plan to write a hundred blog posts, so after I’m gone, you can still read a new post every week for two years. After that maybe Calvin will take over.
Calvin says, “Good grief! What side of the bed did you wake up on? You’re getting weird.”
It’s spring and the city is sprouting condos.
Every blighted corner has sprouted a fresh building like a flower in the desert.
The next casualty is my favorite art store.
It’s slated to be demolished this year.
For 37 years it has supplied artists of all genres the materials for their craft. Some people like clothes, I love art stores and this was one of the best.
It made me smile the moment I walked in.
I bought my canvases and paintbrushes there. My paints, pens and pencils, and papers for collages. And many gifts for my friends.
The store is moving to the farthest end of the city, practically under the Golden Gate Bridge where the birds are. I’ll need to rent a segway to get there.
Meanwhile a cold, impersonal building is going up in its place. I saw the renderings today. Looks like every other building built in the last nano second. These architects lack creativity and guts. The investment groups just want to make a buck, I get it, and capitalize on the hordes of young tech workers moving in to make their mark in the city. Except their living spaces look like their work spaces. It’s a crime.
It’s a shame they didn’t think of a way to build on top of my art store and weave the smells and colors into the steel and cement. That way the newbies in town could take painting classes on the roof like the little children they are.
Calvin says, “Money sucks the fun out of things. Look at dog houses these days. They’re revolting.”
Walking up the hill this morning to the office, I was forced to walk around a mattress and box spring, a couch, a chair, snow boots, and a lamp. Somebody threw them out from the building they once lived in.
My office is surrounded by apartment buildings, so on one level I suppose it makes sense.
On another, it’s a mystery.
It screams “single life”, “moving on”, “take my trash and shove it.”
What’s even more of a mystery is the disappearance of all those things within hours.
I left the office later this morning and most of the stuff was gone.
Where does it go?
Who picks it up?
I never see anyone doing this.
Do gremlins emerge from the gutters like a line of ants?
Do the homeless pick it up? Except today it was raining, but things still disappeared.
The oddest thing I’ve ever seen on the street was a wig and women’s clothing.
I don’t want to guess what that meant.
Calvin says, “It meant one discarded multiple personality.”