Sunday, July 1, 2007

A perfect weekend

This is as perfect a weekend as I could have hoped for.

• The daytime sky is clear and sunny, and the local cardinals are celebrating through their calls and songs.

• Last night's sky was lighted by a mysterious, hazy moon, just past full, sexily yet demurely draped behind the wisps of clouds. Friday's blue moon, the second full moon of the month, was less shy.

• The temperature is warm and cool enough to be comfortable. Days like these, rare as they are in Chicago, remind me of a lifetime nearly 30 years ago in a different place.

• Between the farmers market Thursday and trips to the market yesterday and today, I have enough blue corn chips, strawberries, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, coffee, tea, and other comforts to feel that my castle is well stocked against invaders like sad days and depression.

• Two people independently told me that I look like I'm losing weight. I checked, and I'm not. In fact, I've gained a little. It appears like a newly opened bra is doing its job and providing lift and support.

• Yesterday my friend and I went to our favorite quirky restaurant in Frankfort, Illinois, for dinner. Afterward, we watched evening arrive on a chariot of glowing pink, orange, and blue while I gently persuaded two twilight fireflies to land on my hand for a moment. Later we observed a flower tea blossom in a glass teapot to reveal a clover-like center.

• I've seen three species of butterfly in the Flamingo's garden this weekend, including a red admiral, possibly a gray comma, and one that was predominantly yellow. The red admiral startled me by landing on my T-shirt's right sleeve. Its impact was surprising, and I could feel amazing strength in the legs that gripped the material. Its antennae were beautiful in their closeness and clarity.

• For some reason this morning I turned to look slightly behind me, where only 10 feet away a cardinal couple were poking about in the grass. The male flew onto the branch of a small tree to keep an eye out for his mate's safety while she tried to swallow a morsel too big for her bill.

• I witnessed an aggressive female European sparrow driving off a male, who would periodically pause and spread his wings in seeming threat or submission; given her response, it was hard to tell. His attitude only provoked her more, as she pounced on him again and again. This ground chase ended only when he flew off into a bush out of her way. I have seen that kind of aggression before only in males determined to mate. (I mean sparrow males, of course.)

• A male cardinal just landed eight feet from me, as though I were not even here. He flew off only because someone from the pool walked past and disturbed him.

All this has made me feel alive and good, despite the onset on Thursday of the Monthly Necessity. When I return to the inanity and insanity that my everyday life has become, perhaps the memories of the butterfly on my arm, the fireflies on my hand, the loving cardinal couple, and the squabbling sparrows will help to put the egotism, the pettiness, and the foolishness into the perspective they deserve.

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