By Timber Jones
It is easy to sit here on the back porch on days like this, days when the wind blows strong and carries with it random thoughts that are gone as quickly as they come. Raindrops tap unevenly on the metal roof of the cabin. A bright red cardinal tries his level best to keep his balance on the limb of a black jack tree. I reckon it is not as hard for him as it would be for me.
Days like this when a lady cardinal comes and woos him away just to let him chase her. Their son sits atop the log stump that still remains because it refused to split this past winter. We all have stumps like that…and need them. Days like this when an old black bird walks, not skips or dances, just walks around the yard. He spends a lot of time here this year, just taking a stroll, hoping that I mind my own business.
Days like this when my one and only, lonesome neighbor sits inside unaware of this wonderful spring morning. He doesn’t see the black bird that is perhaps annoyed by my watchful eye. Days like this when the blooms of the sassafras tree have finally burst alive with their arms open wide and clouds roll and shift in color and shape from pure white to the black bellied sort.
Days like this when Pastor’s Ridge is host to trees that sway to what seems to be their breaking point but hold on for one more push from the bully wind. It is easy on days like this to think about fishing, but that wind just holds you in your rocking chair. It holds you a little longer, and just enough to see that the old leaning tree is the only one in the woods that refuses to bend any more. It has had its fill of swaying and has now accepted that this is just the way things are. How content it must be. If only we could be so satisfied.
It’s days like this that I wonder about the homes that are built by the strong hands of man and blown down by stronger winds and yet, that squirrel’s nest remains, and has since before I came here. It is on days like this that I wish the entirety of the world could share in, but I know I would be bothered if another soul was here to interrupt it all. Fine company are the birds, the trees, the howling wind.
Oh, how the Good Lord knows what He is doing and how He knows precisely what I need. He is a great Conductor to the forest symphony. On days like this, the banjo isn’t part of the soundtrack. It is instead a deep cello and maybe a flute. But all symphonies have endings. And since my black bird friend has decided to mosey on, I suppose I shall too.