Friday, July 6, 2012

My Backyard

I have posted some pictures of my backyard, but let me explain.

First there are the bumble bees in all their finery. They inhabit my orchid blossoms just as they did last year, burrowing into each blossom with a diligent gusto. I would like to know what rapture they find there, or is it merely duty.  I posted here about these bees last year. There were five blossoms last year and every morning a squadron of five bumblebees arrived to hover, one for each blossom.  My question to myself last year was how they knew to send just that number? Were they communicating bee to bee to bud.
 This year there are 8 blossoms and a bee for each.  I am now happily convinced that they have some special ways. They count and organize and open these blossoms in a matter of a very few days.  And then this magical ritual is over.  The blossoms are spent, the bees are elsewhere.  That is until next year. I think that we humans completely underestimate or maybe just ignore the wonder of how smoothly the natural world operates without our intrusion or participation.  It is humbling to see it in this small yearly drama.
But it is also true that had I not written about it here, on this marvel of technology last year, I would not have trusted my memory to report with confidence that these little furry fliers had indeed showed up again in the right number for their buds. And that funny little fact, that the universe has so carefully designed an existence for these buds and bees, supports me in my daily round.  It is sensible this lovely backdrop called the earth.  It is not random, it is infinitely detailed and gloriously arranged so that buds will open and bees will answer their call.  How could I be lost in the stars?
And here are the roof kitties. Actually there are four, maybe five and they live on the roof across from my house. I have had a rule that feeding these guys was not a good idea, unless I could trap them so that they wouldn’t multiply to numbers that would no longer fit on the roof. But this year I have succumbed.
This little litter sits perched on the roof watching me weed the garden and hang the laundry.  They look right into my eyes and don’t scurry backwards from the edge unless the dogs have come out to complain and remind them this yard is not theirs.  As if they would venture down. They are a motley crew.  The four you see here and another very shy little tabby.  So now every morning and every evening when they come out to watch me in the garden, I put a bowl of food on the bodega roof and I watch them.  They parry and dodge, nudge and wait, but finally, I think they share more or less.  Their mother comes by at times, but sits back, as if she knows this food is for them.  She does not eat it. Their future is a little uncertain, there is danger in the world for them, but I have succumbed and with that surrender comes commitment.  I will do my best.
I got a call this morning from the Harrison Street Café.  A very presentable young man was calling to tell me that my daughter Erin’s cell phone was left there at the café.  He said he figured mom was the best number to call and so he did.  Harrison Street Café and my daughter are thousands of miles and a day’s travel from here.   How lovely that I can email her or call her sister and tell her where to find her phone. A beeline of a sort, thanks to human ingenuity.  How small is our world or how big is my backyard?  We are definitely not lost in the stars.


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