As It Turns Out

An unexpected evening rain bends but does not quite break the heat, and when I awake in the morning, right at the cusp of first light, I follow the cats outside to stand for a minute in the heavy air. The day is coming on so fast I swear I can see it happening in real time, almost as if the light were accumulating like snow. The cows are gathered under their favorite apple tree; they’ve worn the ground bare around its base, and I wonder why they’ve chosen this tree from all the others that would have suited the purpose equally well. A place for shade. A rough trunk to scratch against. Maybe, just maybe, where they know to be found for scratches in the spots the tree can’t reach.

Busy. So busy. The days compressed and blurred together. The summer feeling suddenly short and all the possibilities it contains feeling suddenly much less possible. I’m reminded somehow of the bluejay I passed on a bike ride more than a month ago; it had been hit by a car, and was flopping frantically at the road’s shoulder, and I turned back, steeling myself to do what I thought right, but when I held the bird in my hands, it quieted, and I could see that nothing was broken. So I opened my palms and it flew. Perhaps it had merely been stunned, or perhaps it was one last desperate lurch before final collapse. Either way, it wasn’t done yet, there was life yet for it to live, and I rode on, grateful that I had not acted too quickly and knowing I’d long remember the way it settled into my palms.

Which, as it turns out, I have.

16 thoughts on “As It Turns Out”

  1. Hi Ben….Somewhat like you, we had a rather brief downpour here this afternoon in this neighborhood on Cape Cod. In the big picture it was a mere drop in the bucket, my friend noted to me, but it brings needed nourishment to everything that grows albeit short lived nourishment.

    At 5:30 in the evening the sun is low enough and below the tree line of the older tress such that it generates long shadows on the ground giving notice of summer’s decline. It always seems to be the fastest season of the year, three times as fast as winter.

    Appreciate the fact that you tried to help that Blue Jay. Some would say that it’s wrong but it speaks well of you. We maybe need kindness more than ever before these days. Sure beats the alternative.

    Always a pleasure to read a new post….and re-read some older ones as well. Thank you!

  2. Gorgeous! As usual! I’ve had similar injured bird experiences over the decades and I always try to keep them alive until they can fly again, and maybe half the time it works!

  3. I enjoy the familiar rhythm of your words. I use to have your books on my bookshelf. But there was a big move and sorta downsizing. As regrets go, it’s a small one, but just the same…
    May your summer into fall be just full enough. Safe and well.

  4. Ha ha. for sime reason this has been in my drafts for 2 weeks. still true…. I wrote –  Hope you are well Ben. I’m good.  Ciao Simon

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

  5. Poetic words Ben. I recommend The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.

    I live and work on a regenerative farm in North Carolina and just started following you based on a friends’ recommendation for inspiration. from a like-minded writer and farmer. Looking forward to the journey.


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