there were crows at the tippy-top of this skinniest of trees, three of them, all cawing, and it was the first time i noticed they don't all sound alike, they each had their own voice, and i knew if i walked back to get my camera they would fly away, and they did, but it doesn't matter. they were there and they had companions in the sky and they kept me faraway company for a while longer, too far away to photograph and i think they knew that, i'm sure some of their cawing was really laughter, but that doesn't matter either. it was magical.
i stood at the edge of a once-upon-a-time horse ranch, my first time there, land that now belongs to friends, and though there are no horses there, not yet, maybe later, there were four in the pasture next door, two barbed wire fences separating us, an empty field between, and as i walked to that edge, one of the horses lifted her head, saw me, pawed the ground, and we said hello across the now-not-so-emptiness. friends forever. i walked the edge of the property, through a gate, into another small pasture, pine trees hugging the fence line, everything green, the overhead sky shifting from blue to gray and back again, the ground beneath my feet quite happy. content.
you can feel that, you know, at least i could yesterday, that's how happy this land was, and i realized i'd forgotten, in my sadness and self-absorption, that other places are magic also. i don't mean vacation spots, their magic so tied in with their away-ness - i mean places that are here, that are home, places that nourish people, grow them like trees able to withstand storms, places that hold them and protect them and places that become old friends. as i ponder moving, as i move beyond pondering - it is a must-happen, i have to go - i have been troubled and teary-eyed at the loss of this neighborhood, my place of enchantment for so many years, though in truth the neighborhood i held so dear has been disappearing in bits and pieces daily, weekly, going, going, almost gone. i have been saying goodbye for so long, to the trees dressed in their spring finery - will i see them again? - to the summer lilies, to dragonflies and honeysuckle and wisteria, to the hackberry tree, my dearest friend of all, there to greet me each day as i open the house to the morning. goodbye to the robins, but not yet the owls. i will never have this again, i tell myself, and that is true, i won't, but i'd forgotten there are other places out there with their own magic, with new stories to tell me. i was reminded as i walked the edge of my friends' property, and felt the friendliness of the place, heard secrets whispered loudly from tree to tree - they've been waiting so long for someone to listen. somewhere there are trees waiting for me.
there was a roadrunner out there also, you know; mentioning him is like telling someone you've seen a ghost, but he is as real as they, so mention i will. i saw him at first as just movement under the trees, then he appeared next to the fence, on my side, yards and yards in front of me, running along the fence line, soon disappearing from my view. a roadrunner, you say? in east texas? yes. my thoughts exactly. magic.