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In The Garden

Yellow dandelions bloom in the sun.

A bird came down the walk:
He did not know I saw;
He bit an angle-worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw.

And then he drank a dew
From a convenient grass,
And then hopped sidewise to the wall
To let a beetle pass.

He glanced with rapid eyes
That hurried all abroad, –
They looked like frightened beads,
I thought;
He stirred his velvet head

Like one in danger; cautious,
I offered him a crumb,
And he unrolled his feathers
And rowed him softer home

Than oars divide the ocean,
Too silver for a seam,
Or butterflies, off banks of noon,
Leap, plashless, as they swim.

                                 – Emily Dickinson

Have you noticed all of the ways, each day, that the beauty of the world we live in makes itself seen and heard, touched and smelled, even in small, “ordinary,” and often fleeting moments?

I was tired so I stretched out on a couch… a Mourning Dove began to coo, the gentlest of sounds that I know, and before long, another dove responded, its soft song sometimes precisely overlaying the song of the first.

Later on, by my front door… a breeze had set the leaves of the trees across the street dancing, and made itself felt on my cheek, just before the drops of rain. I stopped, watching the leaves, feeling the breeze and rain. A male robin, with a bright red breast materialised in the undergrowth, running along brown earth, stopping to cock its head. Listening for worms? What sensory experiences were the worms having, as they pushed through soil loosened and softened by weeks of spring showers?

Near my car, an ebullience of yellow dandelions competed with subtler wildflowers. A vine cascaded from a bush, a waterfall of tiny white stars, almost fluffy in abundance.

Flashes of red heralded male cardinals, calling an insistent, single, unmusical note, while their silent, brown and red female companions were there, but more elusive.

Later, I was home again. Outside my windows, down by the river, it was growing dark… the sky so soft, a dusky gloaming, not the sun’s sometimes tropical departure. The geese spoke, noting the sun’s descent with...

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