Up before dawn this morning, thanks to marauding cats. What is it about I like to sleep until seven they don’t understand?
Nonetheless, it’s lovely to be up early, see the horizon growing light and a pelican flapping its way west. Just when I thought there would be no spectacle, the eastern sky turned brilliant orange. High above, a jet trail picked up the color, like a long curl of orange peel.
A lot goes on in the sweep of sky I see from my living room window. On Thursday three or four news helicopters were buzzing around and around like angry hornets. Apparently a natural gas line began leaking after workers dropped a boulder on it, and the immediate neighborhood had to be evacuated. (Should natural gas lines really be made out of plastic?) Yesterday, as I was watching a cruising hawk, I noticed a shiny white plastic bag high above against the blue, handles toward the ground, belly ballooning up with the wind.
It moved west across my window, then reappeared, higher, moving east; finally, higher still, it moved west again and floated out of sight, perhaps to join its fellows in the Pacific Trash Vortex colonizing the ocean between Hawaii and Japan. Billionaire adventurer and environmentalist David de Rothschild (aka Plastic Jesus) wanted to make a habitable island out of it at one time, but I haven’t heard much about that lately. Maybe he couldn’t keep up with the pace of the deposits.
My surveillance of the plastic bag was interrupted twice, once by inquisitive seagulls, and then by a flock of several dozen pale brown birds rushing across the sky, flashing white underbellies as they wheeled in unison, then disappearing over the trees. So fascinating to watch them doing those turns. Recent studies indicate that each bird in a flock pays attention to the six or seven birds immediately surrounding it and does what they do. Apparently, to paraphrase McLuhan, the movement is the message. The ones who don’t pay attention get picked off by falcons.
Movement is my message, too–or, rather, the message I need to hear, blood pressure and blood sugar both being higher than they should. It’s been a tough year for me, between the worsening back pain and depression, and I’ve dealt with it by holing up and comforting myself with food, especially of the sweet and chocolate variety. Not what this aging body needs. I gave it sobriety, but it needs more. Now, with spring weather and blossoms in the air, I hope to find ways to keep the pain at bay so I can get out more, start walking again, and return to a healthier way to eat and live.
I’d hate to get picked off by falcons just because I can’t keep up with the flock.