We are there and it has become here. This morning, sitting in my bed, I looked out the middle window toward the east. It was divided, half green and half soft blue nearly white. Now I am back in bed and it is getting dark. The same window is still divided, but now half grayed yellow and half deepening blue. It reminds me of the little paintings I made in high school on scraps of wood… half yellow and half blue. Were they a foreshadow of this place and my love for it?
...expose a child to a particular environment at his susceptible time…. he will perceive in the shapes of that environment until he dies. Wallace Stegner
With sunrise, the color of everything is changing. But, I have very few words, or no new words for this place and season, for the three squares of light that trace across the wall when the sun comes up. Just now, the middle square is illuminating a photo of my grandmother Sadie and her sister Vina when they were girls. I will find my way back into their story while I am here. But, just now I am re-acquainting myself with each thing I’ve known before: the wind, the light, the sky, the bird songs and the way a day unrolls.
Exactly one year ago, the day was stormy and culminated in fifteen minutes of hail and havoc. The schoolhouse has been mostly repaired, the car left pocked to tell the tale, and today I can see where the plants have recovered and where they have not. This June first is entirely different, bucolic with bird sightings. But I know enough not to be fooled. It could change in a minute.
I spotted new birds in the yard today. Four of them flit around with one or the other momentarily perching on the flagpole. I have consulted 2 books and think they are possibly tree swallows. I have become, not so much a bird watcher as watcher in general. Last week in Seattle, I met with a writing teacher to review my essay on transition. She was asking for more detail as to what I do when I am here. She thought my writing suggested that I just sit outside and look. And just now, my pen not moving for more than 5 minutes while I watch a horse eating grass, I think she might be right.
My plan was to read while eating breakfast outside, but I left the magazine fluttering on the sidewalk beside my chair and just felt the wind. I won’t say the wind was howling, its voice being much more sophisticated and complex. It was more of an orchestration, leaf rattling against leaf, chains ringing against a pole, and something inexplicable that may just be air moving quickly around a corner. I have made peace… even friends with the wind. Years ago, visiting Ellensburg, another place of wind, I vowed I could never live in such a place. I was unnerved by the constancy of moving air. But my view has changed and I live here now with the wind as companion; its force refreshing me, sometimes scaring me, but welcome all the same.