Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last Sunrise of 2011

   Last sunrise of 2011. Was scraping the car this morning. Early. A car with frozen doors. Every winter the Honda gets frozen solid, just about this time. Every year, I have to climb over the back seat, and perch precariously over the wheel, just to get it started. Hoping that it will thaw, that the ice encasing it will melt, and it will make it down the hill. The crows seem to have a good laugh, every time I do this….they sit on the other side, watching, laughing at nothing in particular, eating stale bread I’ve left out for them. I’m a sucker for crows.

    This year, it’s the sparrows who roost in our yard…hundreds of them, perhaps thousands of twittering little bodies. They watch and wait for their moment. They look hungry. And they’re not always eyeing the seeds scattered on the ground, or at feeding stations. I  sense they’re organized, like in Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”, one of my favourite movies. I wouldn’t mind being in a Hitchcock movie. None of the cars in the movie  are frozen in ice.

    As I chip away at the car, I can see the sunrise growing steadily above the tree line. I know, for  a fact, that it will not last long. Seize the moment, is what I  think. I sprint for my camera and the big lens, my fingers frozen. I snap just a few. It’s good. It’s beautiful. Nothing needed to make it more than that.

    Just like a New Year. And even though, my car will finally be dug out the ice, so it can go down the hill, 2012 is just around the corner, just like this perfect sunrise, and there is no downhill. “We will open the book. It’s pages are blank.We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called ‘Opportunity’, and it’s first chapter is New Year’s Day”. (Edith L. Pierce)


Friday, December 30, 2011

Deer and Grey Cat Meet

 Deer come into the yard, every night. Sometimes I put out old apples and they munch away, quite happily. They ALWAYS finish off the last of the daily bird seed I leave out under the eaves, in a pan that sits precariously on an upturned pail. I apologize ahead of time for the low light quality of these pics. It was quite late, very dark, and I had to take them from the front window. Could not risk using the flash.  They just look kind of artsy......look for Grey Cat in the last couple of pics.  I never noticed him, till the very end, that he was there all the time, watching the deer. They touched noses, before I realized it, and then I saw him.
 This young deer comes every night and noses around. He has an injured leg, which is finally healing, though he sometimes has a slight limp. He quietly chews up all the apple segments I leave, and looks at me through the window, each time I see him. I would never go outside. Better to remain at a distance.
                           This time I think he saw me. Kind of a ghostly encounter.
 This is blurry because I really could not get it in focus as well without the flash. He is eating up the leftover sunflower seeds. Doesn't bother me in the least, that he toddles through the garden. He's welcome to eat whatever he wants.
 At this point, he saw Grey Cat, before I did. Then they touched noses. Grey cat was down below the retaining wall....he was just watching. When they sniffed at each other, it was as if they knew the other one.
 Poor quality photo (again, I apologize for the low light)......Grey Cat far down in the right corner.
Deer moves off, as Grey Cat sits up to have a better look. Then he look at me....he knew I was there. Clever kitty.....

Sparrows in Sunrise (kind of)

 Finally, some sun...well, weak sun, early on for a few hours at least.Wet adn soggy and dark, usualy by 3pm. We're supposed to be getting more light every day, but I don't see it. A mild, green Christmas and New Year's.....can't complain. The sparrows are back. Flocks and flocks of them. Hundreds of little bodies diving and peeping and scrounging for seeds.
 The red finch seems to be in control......always telling them what to do. They're organized. I'm reminded of the movie "The Birds". I wonder what they are thinking in their tiny bird brains.
 Swarming over the back lawn, the front, the side...................feeding voraciously.
 In the trees, any twig they can perch upon. They sit and wait and watch...................
 Of course, Grey Cat is no help whatsoever. He comes to the yard every day. He lives behind us, but likes our lawn best. His soft, padded paws are silent....................sometimes he even catches the od sparrow, caught unawares.  Grey Cat looks smug.
Oh look, only a few hours of daylight left. Time to revel in  at least a few D rays, till the next day and the sparrows return once more.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve and The Littlest Angel"

One of my fvourite stories for Christmas Eve. My dad used to read this to me when I was very little. I still ahve the original book, all dog eared, and covered in peanut butter. Here and there, on some of the pages, I see evidence of  pencil markings, where I have scratched my name.

The lttlest angel was exactly four year, six months, five days, seven hours and forty-two minutes of age when he presented himself to the Gate Keeper and waited for admittance to the Glorious Kingdom of God.
    The Littlest Angel tried to pretend that he wasn't at all afraid. But his lower lip trembled, and a tear ran down to the veyr tip end of his small freckled nose.He also sniffled, a most unangelic sound which so unnerved the good Gate Keeper that he did something he had never done before in all Eternity. He blotted the page!
The Heavenly Peace was never the same after that. The Littlest Angel always arrived late to choir practice, and always knocked everyone's wings askew as he darted into place. His halo was permanently tarnished where he held onto it when he ran, and he was always running. Sooner or later every single angel knew that he woul have to go before the Angel of Peace.
   "S, you're the one who's been making Heaven so unheavenly! Come here, Cherub and tell me all about it."
   The Littlest Angel told the understanding Angel that he was very homesick. He missed the trees and caves , the swimming hole, the sun,the rain, and dark, and dawn and thick brown dust, so soft and warm beneath your feet. The kindly Angel asked the Cherub what would make him happy.
   "There's a box. I left it under my bed back home. If only I could have that!"
    THe Understanding Angel nodded his head. "You shall have it." A heavenly messenger was instantly dispatched to bring the box to Paradise.
    Then it came to pass that Jesus, the Son of God, was to be born. As as the glorious tidings spread through Paradise, all the angels rejoiced. They put aside their usual tasks to prepare their gifts for the Blessed Infant. All but the Littlest Angel. He sat down on the Golden Stairs and waited for inspiration.
   The time of the Miracle was very close at hand when the Littlest Angel decided on his gift. He brought it , with downcast eyes, and placed it before the Throne of God. It was only a small, rough, unsightly bos, but inside were all those wonderful things that even a Child of God would treasure!
But the Littlest Angel was embarassed of his simple gift, amongst all the wonderful things that were brought to God. He wanted to hide it.

   Too late! God found the wooden box, and opened it before the Heavenly Host. And was his gift to the Blessed Infant? A butterfly with gold wings, captured one bright summer day, a sky blue egg from a bird's nest, and two white stones, found on a muddy river bank, where he and his friends had played. At the bottom of the box was a limp, tooth-marked leather strap, once worn as a collar by his dog.
  Ad the Voice of God spoke: "Of all the gifts of all the Angels, I find that this small box pleases Me most. Its contents are of the Earth and of Men, adn My Son is born to bew King of both. These are the things My Son, too, will know and love and cherish, and then leave behind Him when His task is done. I accept this gift in the Name of the Child, Jesus, born of Mary this night in Bethlehem."
    Then the box began to glow, and became a radiant brilliance that blinded the eyes of all the angels.  It rose from the Throne of God, and took its place in the night sky, shining its brilliance over a Stable where a Child was born.

     There is shone on that Night of Miracles, and its light was reflected down through the centuries deep in the heart of all mankind. Yet, earthly eyes, blinded, too, by its splendour , cold never know that the lowly gift of th Littlest Angel was what all men would call forever the shining Star of Bethlehem!
(abridged from the original by Charles Tazewell)