Thursday, July 17, 2008

a practically perfect day

Yesterday I had a wholly wonderful day. I'd planned to do the usual things--breakfast, stretch, email, work on Hild, lunch, work on Hild, beer, dinner--but the weather here was totally, spot-on perfect this morning, so after breakfast Kelley said, Hey, wanna go to the park?

We did. And the park was amazing. First of all, the sky was a hard, clear blue. The Olympics were out. The Sound was blue and green. And two ospreys were circling and diving for fish (and missing, all the time; must be young ones). The patterns on the underside of their wings was just, well, it was astonishing. And they were right there.

No, I didn't take this pic; it's a public domain photo from Wikipedia

And while we were being gobsmacked and delighted, we saw a chipmunk running along a fence. And we smiled. And then a marten exploded out of the bushes and the chipmunk zipped--I've never seen anything move as fast--along that rail and then started shrieking at that marten.

A marten.

ditto: photo by anonymous in public domain

Wow. I didn't even know there were martens here in Seattle. It was beautiful: small, tight, one long glossy predatory muscle. And then a pair of birds I'd never seen before started trading singing insults--oh you could tell they were insults. Seriously. Then I watched a zillion sand-burrowing wasps doing apparently pointless things, like piling on top of each other, and bumping into each other, and digging holes and scuttling backwards. It was like watching a flea circus. And all this entertainment was free.

At this point, we thought, Hey, the world is a marvel, let's go explore more. So we had lunch at a Moroccan place we'd never noticed before, rootled through the tat in an 'antiques'/consignment store, and had a latte in a new coffeehouse. Then we came home, smiling, and I suddenly thought of something I really wanted to add to Hild.

All in all a miraculous day. Nothing profound to say, I just wanted to share.

Tomorrow is audio day. I'm dithering between a song, something I wrote for Kelley while we were apart all those years ago, or a reading of a very short story for Australian radio. Decisions, decisions...




  1. That's how I felt all day :)

  2. What a wonderful day you had together. It goes to show there are adventures to be had right in your own backyard.

    My vote for tomorrow is your writing about Kelley, but I will enjoy whatever you choose to post.


  3. Okay. One vote for the song for Kelley...

  4. How lovely this is just to read about your perfect day. Who knew you could be such a nature-loving old softie.

  5. Of course, watching any flea circus would be a practically perfect day.

  6. anonymous, well, I could pretend I'm a nature-red-in-tooth-and-claw devotee but, yeah, I do like the pretties.

    fleacircusdirector, wow, that's some website you've got there. Who knew?

  7. Hiya hun....happy you both had such a great day. Treasure it and remember.......x

  8. I wonder if the martens would play nice with my cats...I think I need a pet marten. :-)

  9. justme, yep, I treasure lots of things: just now a piece of Dove chocolate that tasted like the best chocolate ever, and it was just...Dove. And a sip of tea that was all aromatical and exotic and, really, it was just...tea

    clindsay, the marten looked astonishingly like a cat but longer and that particular chestnut/rusty cocoa kind of colour you only ever see on wild animals. Lots of people have pet ferrets...

  10. Nicola,
    I know I have mentioned to you before that I compare your writing to Annie Dillard. She authored a favorite book, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, in which she tells of rounding a corner to be witness to a mockingbird taking a dive from a four story building as it made a straight verticle descent..the wings were folded at its side. But just as a breath before he would have been dashed to the ground it unfurled its wings and floated onto the grass.

    She summarized the whole event as such:"...I think beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can try to do is be there." And it sounds as though your day away put YOU there!

    I try to keep my "seeing eye" open for such graces and have been rewarded many times for my efforts...

    Thank you for sharing your day.

    BTW, HILD: I am sure you are already aware that there is a myth of sorts that tells of Hild turning snakes to stones and that the many ammonites on the beaches near Whitby were touted as proof. Some "artista" even carved heads of snakes into the ammonites to shore up the "truth of it all." Thought the Ammonite connection was an interesting link between two of your past and future written worlds.

  11. Seeing as this feeds into my obsession with all things Anglo-Saxon, I'll answer this in a separate post sometime next week.