I expected to be in Ireland this month, visiting Belfast and Dublin, hiking the west coast north to south. Instead, I am in Oakland, closely observing details that I have often overlooked or didn’t stop to experience.
It is currently early morning on Memorial Day. The weather is fine, none of that heavy wet fog that sometimes plagues holiday weekends in the Bay Area, times when I envy those who live in places where instead, it feels like summer. I listen to the birdsong in the quiet. So sweet, such variety! I also hear the incessant and annoying gobble of the now-resident wild turkeys, fearless and aggressive.
At midnight, while reading in bed, windows wide open to enjoy the warm air, I heard goings-on in the garden. I grabbed my flashlight and rushed to see what was causing the ruckus. I was not surprised to see two playful raccoons. At first, they are lying in the birdbath, quite a hilarious sight as they are both quite rotund, and the birdbath is quite small. I imagine they are grateful for the cool water. Next, they are cavorting on the tiny lawn, running circles around each other, wrestling and playing like the youngsters they may be. Or perhaps they are not young but playful nonetheless, enjoying the garden, undisturbed.
Morning progresses, the light on the trees is soft. I move outdoors to take it all in. A bird skitters across the deck. A deer grazes just outside the fence. The smell of roses brings joy. I explore my garden anew, the spring growth, light green, fresh.
Back inside, the cat demands breakfast. Satiated, she sits guard by the screen door to the deck. Making chirping sounds, she watches intently as a squirrel runs across the deck railing after which she retires to her tent for a nap.