I see hummingbirds, two and three at a time. Shiny green backs, shiny like beetles, one with a red spot on her throat. They wait on the tree limbs above me while I water in the morning, then buzz down inch-by-inch to the stream of mist. Closer and closer, finally diving into the water, moving in and out like children playing in a summer sprinkler.
I see woodpeckers. I see crows. Gangs of blue jays. I see jets, sometimes even the airline name on the tail. I'm in the British Airways flight path. I wonder if I'd recognize my own yard. I see the sky and all that's in view above me. Tree tops, two huge old pines that belong to neighbors, and my own backyard trees: pear, apple, aspen, maple, and others I do not know.
I recently moved from thirty acres, from distance. In the city now fenced in, surrounded by trees, my view moves up. I notice all the birds that live above me, start to recognize each as they descend to perch. Many trees and animals but the pear tree is the place of democracy, where all come, even a hawk once, squirrels, and a baby raccoon I discovered the other night, they all meet there.
But it's the birds that capture me. So many, so busy, they fly in flocks and singles. I sit wishing I had that much fury in my flight. And then I remember, it's September; they have plans. What must it be like to have that order?
To not think your way into instinct but merely go?