Monday, May 10, 2010

DANCE MOMENTS

"…an ethereal silver gauze that hung
above the water like a ghostly naiad…"
There was fog along the river this morning—an ethereal silver gauze that hung above the water like a ghostly naiad, indistinct, translucent, softly mysterious. The sound of the riffle was muted to a murmur, as if for the time being, the river had chosen to convey its elemental secrets in a whisper.
"…The sound of the riffle was muted to a murmur…"
On the gravel bar across from the cottage, a handful of Canada geese preened in the tenebrous blue-green light. Used to my presence, they never lifted their heads from their ablutions as I picked my way down the stone steps.
"…a handful of Canada geese preened
in the tenebrous blue-green light."
The fog was born from the temperature differential between water and air—a clear night and deep chill which had bottomed out near the freezing point after several eighty-degree days. I'd ignored the weather service's warnings and not covered the plants, but luckily, there didn't appear to be any frost damage.
"…I became aware I was not alone in my river-watching."
As I stood on the platform near the water's edge, I became aware I was not alone in my river-watching. Across the channel, in one of the island's sycamores, a turkey vulture sat on a limb twenty feet above the pool below the riffle, alternately keeping a thoughtful eye on both me and the water. They usually don't sit this low so early in the day; you're more likely to see them perched high in the very tops of the tallest trees, wings spread wide as they warm their bones in the first golden wash of morning sunlight. Of course, the sun was still hiding, working it's way to the top of the little hill to the east and expected to make an appearance any moment.
"Eventually, the sun found its way above the hill."
Today I am another year older; one tock closer to the final chime which eventually tolls for one and all—though not a thought I want to dwell on on so glorious a May morning. At best age is a general measurement, a number that often says little about where we stand as individuals, our lives, development, worth, even its expectancy. We all know folks who are "young" or "old" for their age, mature or immature in their outlook and restraint. Some of us get older but refuse to grow up.
"Warm yellow light glimmered through the greenery…"
Eventually, the sun found its way above the hill. Warm yellow light glimmered through the greenery, and varnished the tops of east-facing sycamores downstream. Their white trunks fairly gleamed. A robin sitting under the picnic table found encouragement in this glorious unfolding drama and began singing. A fish rose in the pool. Beginning to feel encouraged myself, I decided to get a rod and see if that bass and I might engage in a morning waltz.
"A robin sitting under the picnic table…"
Life is filled with moments for dance…and I don't want to miss a single opportunity to enjoy my allotted whirls.
———————

33 comments:

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Happy Birthday Griz! I sent you that Turkey Vulture with my wishes for a lovely day.

Jenn Jilks said...

beautiful. My Muskoka !, and Ottawa (we're with new grandbaby!), have had snow. Way too cold for me now!

Gail said...

HI GRIZZ-Is today your birthday? If so, "Happy Birthday" and I am so thrilled to be able to celebrate you, your life, your purpose.

ANd just when I think your pictures have peaked in brilliance I am overwhelmed with the wonder of the ones you shared today. And your words, so eloquent to define the experiences, delightful and creative.This post is beautiful.
And yes, keep swirling and whirling - dance like no body is watching.

Love you
Gail
peace.....

Scott said...

Happy birthday, Taurean! My birthday was last Wednesday (58 years old).

One nit-picky point of correction: the Canada geese were undertaking their "ablutions," not their "absolutions."

Carolyn H said...

i had frost here--not something I want much of in May. Happy birthday! All birthdays are good--another year of being vertical!

Carolyn H.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jenn…

Snow? Egads! That's too cold for me, too. I just wish it would either be warm or cold here and stay that way; it's the wishy-washy that gets me.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Lynne…

Hey, I'll take a gift buzzard anytime. Thank you!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

Today is, indeed, my birthday, though we celebrated yesterday.

I will keep dancing—like a rather shaggy bear. And thank you for your comments re. photos. I just wanted to stick something up that's I'd taken today, and the foggy weather cooperated.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Whirl away!!! And thanks for allowing us a glimpse of the incredible environs in which you whirl.

Happy Birthday dear man.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Scott…

Between you and me, I'm certain ALL the best people are born in May. We're obviously good cases in point. ;-)

And thank you for the heads-up on the spelling error, which has been corrected. I knew which word I meant, and their different spellings—but guess I was under-coffeed when I proofread that paragraph. Still, a pretty stupid mistake—unless I can convince everyone the birds are members of an Anatidae religious order.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Carol…

Well, still being vertical is certainly good—though gravity seems to be increasing.

I'd spent much of last week—and even a couple hours early yesterday morning—setting out plants and planting seeds. About 2 a.m. this morning, during one of my wakeful moments, I remember thinking, geeze, I really should have covered those tender plants. I'd say I missed disaster by about 2 degrees.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bonnie…

Thank you. And watch out on the dance floor for the lurching bear!

Tramp said...

Griz
Fantastic pictures. There are so many shades of green in May when leaves are still so tender.
Those sycamores are beautiful. I remember playing whirlibirds with the seeds. What was that you said about some people getting older but never growing up?
Happy Birthday and dance on...Tramp

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Tramp…

That's my favorite thing about spring—and especially May…the thousand shades of green. Which, in a way, is similar to why I'm so fond of sycamores—since they are such a lovely mix of color on the leaves and bark all season long. And of course, they're a riverman's signature tree, marking, as the do, waterways large and small.

Finally, I believe growing up is the cause of old people. :-D

Bernie said...

Happy Birthday my friend, we share the same month of birth, mine is still to come.

Loved your photos, only you could make a foggy picture so beautiful.
........:-) Hugs

George said...

Happy Birthday, Grizz. This was such a beautiful posting. All of your prose is great, but this one reached even greater heights. Can there be anything better than this? This is what Shakespeare was talking about in As You Like It -- tongues in trees, books in running brooks, sermons in stone, and good in everything.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bernie…

Thank you regarding the photos. Really, though, nature did the beautifying…all I did was point my camera and release the shutter.

Hey—let me be among the first to wish you a most happy May birthday! (Also, see the first paragraph of my reply to Scott's comment above. I rest my case!)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

George…

Thank you for the birthday well-wishes and truly nice words re. prose. I do believe everything worth writing about can be found in things elemental—wind and sky, stream and stone, fire and ice…and that which wells from within the human soul.

Jain said...

Happy birthday, Griz. Especially lovely images today!

Von said...

By Gosh I'm glad it was a riffle and not a rifle Grizz, I hope you don't mind me using that term of familiarity but I see others do and it's so much shorter.
Happy Birthday to you!Did you say the number and I missed it?

Von said...

P.S.No, no Scott you've got it wrong Canada Geese perform absolutions, hadn't you heard?

KGMom said...

The time is 11:42 p.m. I am getting in under the wire.
Happy Birthday!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jain…

Thank you. I had a good birthday. Wouldn't be able to make the same photos today, though—it is dark and raining, thundering some; kinda ugly out there.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

KGMom…

You may have got your comment in under the wire last night…but I was so worn out I went to bed at 10:30! Hence this later reply. But the well wishes are just as much appreciated. Thank you.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Von…

Actually, I have rather pious geese here on the river who adhere to evening prayers, morning absolutions, and an occasional honked spiritual petition for their heathen brethren, the mallards.

It is indeed a riffle (I got that right!) not a rifle, ruffle, or ripple, the later which, BTW, I've actually had illiterate editors change it to in articles.

Yes, you may call me "Grizz" if you'll promise to keep in mind that it is the diminutive for "grizzled" and not "grizzly." I have brown hair streaked with gray…but am not an ill-tempered oversized bear. (Well, maybe I am occasionally a bit of both.)

You did not miss a number. You will not read a number. I will say that when I was young, I remember some discussion regarding the most efficient shape of the wheel.

giggles said...

Happy Belated birthday!! Hope you danced with your Ladylove!!!!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Giggles…

Hey, no problem…and thank you!

Actually, Moon the dog and I spent the day (sniff, sniff) all by our lonesome. Myladylove had to leave the house yesterday about 7:45 a.m.; then she got hung up with a late customer and didn't get back home until 10:15 p.m.—a 14.5 hour day.

Way too late for dancing or dinner, other than a blueberry smoothie.

Vagabonde said...

I came over from Bonnie’s blog and enjoyed reading your last several posts. Your pictures are lovely and your writing accompanies your pictures so well. I wish I could write this well but when I try to be creative – I think in French first – then my prose sounds translated or stilted, so it is not easy for me – that is why in a way I post only once a week or ten days on my blog. I loved the pictures of the Canada geese and family. My husband can hear them a mile away I think, and then he stops and keeps looking up until they fly over us. I like your picture of the fog over the river very much.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Vagabonde…

I'm glad you found your way to the riverbank via Bonnie's blog. Welcome! I'm also pleased that you enjoyed what you saw and read.

Thank you for your nice words regarding the prose and photos. I do my best…though some days whatever creative talent I possess (if any!) works better than others.

I'm with your husband in that I never hear a bunch Canada geese on the wing and heading my way without stopping whatever I'm doing to listen and watch, awaiting their arrival. Even here in my yard beside the river, where geese often pass overhead, above the trees or water—I still wait and watch and enjoy their fly-overs. Geese stir something almost spiritual in me—always have, since I was young.

Anyway, I hope you return often—as a visitor or regular reader. Please feel free to comment or just say hello whenever you do. And again, thank you for your comments.

Kelly said...

Oh my goodness...what a perfect post. Brilliant writing and gorgeous photos, and a happy belated birthday to you. It's always fun to see what you have posted. You put a lot of work into your words.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Kelly…

This was really an easy post…the photos were there for the making and all I did was report a bit as best I could—and because of how I felt and what I was writing about, the words came pretty easily, too. I'm just glad you and others enjoyed it. Gray and rainy here today, though; not much chance of getting out and doing anything.

Thank you for the birthday wishes…

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

Lovely...as we wend our way closer to the end, it's sweet to realize that heaven is here on earth, as the Buddhists say...

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Teri…

The earth is indeed a lovely place—so long as we don't sully and destroy. Not much we do ever improves on nature.