A beautiful day in the neighborhood.....All those years listening to Mister Rogers sing about his neighborhood. I sit in Towl Park and watch a young woman with her young son (I think) as they cavort around the pond. She is unabashedly dancing with him, then they pretend to be airplanes. They fly all over the newly pale green grass. The grass has not fully committed to green yet. It is still thinking about it. Smart choice. Change comes as swift as a rocket here on the prairie. One day, the air is balmy and sweet. The next day, it is sharp and cold with a wind that is not a caress but a bite.
Today, the sky is a limpid blue, as if it agrees with the grass. It won't truly commit to blue just yet.
I think of all the beautiful colors each season offers. Winter is opaque with snow (not this year, but usually...) The ground, trees, and roofs are topped with it like icing, which makes other colors pop. The cardinal at the bird feeder in the winter is a striking red dance. Just as red as my summer tomatoes, but more beautiful because of the sheer white surroundings.
Spring is shy at first, colors peeking out like Munchkins hiding and peering out at Dorothy Gale. Buds on trees and flowers are delicately colored and soft in hue. As spring goes and gets along, it is like a kindergartener. The first month of school, they're shy and tentative. By the holiday program, they're sure on their rollicky feet. By April, they're goofy little wildebeasts ready to fly off to first grade. Spring is a kindergartener.
Summer is a chaos of noise and color, all vying for attention. Multi colored birds splash at the bird bath, with their blues, reds, blacks, oranges and yellows a cacophony together against bright green grass under the shook yellow sun foil. Even night time has strings of color attached. Lightning bugs lashing out tunes of heartbeat golden. A flash of deep brown bats against the salmon twilight as day reluctantly gives up it's grasp.
Autumn is tender and keening. Autumn is Monet, all blendy roads and smooth smears. Roses that bloom bright debutante pink cheek in the summer, now fade to a creamy dusk of pale pink warmth, a wish of color instead of a certainty. The leaves on the trees fade slowly into the golds and pumpkin colors, weary of their frantic blissful summer dance. They are now gypsies who used to spin with tambourines, but now sit smoking quietly on rocks, watching the water, not having much to say except to crunch softly and shiver.
Yesterday, I went to T's office to see the chicks. Her office has collected them from the elementary schools where children studied their hatching. Now, they will be collected by farmers to turn them into layers. But, until they are collected, they are placed in small cardboard boxes with a carpet of shredded paper for them to cuddle in. Applesauce jar lids are filled with water for them to drink (and step in...) They're given strawberries to munch on. They are 6-8 to a box and T and her co-workers each take one. I hear their clammering cheepings before I get to her door and smile.
I sit down with them, one by one, and hold them gently. They, like people, are all different personalities. One has a red beak from frequent plundering of strawberries. She never settles properly into my hand, just dances from foot to foot, her black eyes peering up at me, angry. She wants back in with the strawberries. I accomodate her. Another shivers timidly in my hand until I find her sweet spot right under her chin. I stroke it softly with my finger and laugh when she suddenly splays her legs, completely relaxed, as if I am a magician. She closes her eyes, her throat thrumming as I gently stroke her chinny chin chin. I put her gently back in the box after several moments and pick up a third chick. This one takes to my hand with ease, tucking her little head into the crook of my thumb and forefinger and immediately settling in for a nap. I hold this one and feel my soul soften. I think that we should all be required to hold a chick for a few moments each day. We'd all be better citizens.
I am charmed, totally and completely by the chicks. All of them. Their downy bright yellow coats and beady black eyes. They bring color into my head. I think about babies, how they are programmed to make you fall in love with them. Their bright red rosebud mouths. Eyes sometimes milky with sleep, other times glittering with curiosity.
All the colors of our world. How lucky we are, yes?