Let me try to describe some life into this photo for you. Obviously, it’s a winterscape which I snapped last week.
The largest tree is a water oak with those pesky small leaves that take forever to rake, if you’re into that kind of yardwork, which I’m not, here on the last back road on the edge of town where I can let nature take its course, blowing them away and receiving them back to the good earth to nurture the soil for the next season. The tree across the road (Gholston Avenue, the Gholstons being a founding family of Comer) might be a maple, judging by the leaves on the ground, and the one to the left an ash, perhaps? Then there’s the ever green of privet and various vines and shrubs. Can you make out the stand of bamboo at the back? I don’t know how managed it is by the landowners and wonder if it will encroach considerably over the decades, as bamboo naturally does.
I’ve been taking inspiration from the pile of compost across the street, a good fertile visual for creativity. Might be an olfactory cue as well, if the window were open. The smell of money, a farmer could say, but not so much for this writer, ha.
Through this window one writing day, I watched a cardinal couple, one leading the other–can’t remember if it was male or female leading–but it would flit to a branch in the water oak and the other would fly and settle next to it, then the first would flit away, the other would follow and perch next to its partner again, just for an instant,–twenty times this happened! Anyone know what was going on–a mating game, nest hunting, an argument?
Another day a man about my age, 70 or so, walked by with a younger woman, perhaps his daughter. She had a rocking gait, dragging one foot behind and holding her shorter left arm motionless against her body. They appeared before me, unaware of my presence, walking by, soon out of sight, then back into view, turning the corner around the oak tree many times, back and forth. While they didn’t become characters in my book, their challenges–they are recent refugees from ethnic persecution plus the physical condition of the daughter–coupled with the ordinary human triumph of their humble exercise will infuse my writing somehow, I’m sure.
See the electric lines, black wires across the white clouds? Utility workers sometimes park on the street to do what needs to be done back in there. On one of these occasions, I was watching three of the workin’ men getting out of their truck and all of a sudden one of them slips and falls flat on his back. Lots of laughter poured forth to cover his obvious embarrassment, and I couldn’t help but laugh too.
And if you could see slightly to the left of what’s in the photo, you would see the loading dock of a small factory that makes sportswear. I have visited with the owner–named Chris, so I can remember his name–who invited me to stop in and see the operation, and I will someday. Anyway, when I hear and then see their truck pulling into the loading dock, I feel a connection which adds to the cozy, comfortable scene.
The flora and fauna, the animal and human dramedy, even the distractions I see in the view out my window are of a piece. What I see when I look out encourages me in this quiet, solitary task. This task, this writing thing, is filled with both audacity and humility, frustration and satisfaction, work and play. And since I am blessed with all that is needed to throw myself into this passion, including a room of my own and a great view, I have no choice but to do it. Gratefully.