Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A universe at my feet

I don't have to go far to find wildlife. It's on my deck.

I went out to sit and enjoy my morning coffee and the newspaper the other day and saw a skink on my deck chair. These little lizards live around the house and one has taken up abode in the chairs stacked against the brick wall.

I chose another chair, only to find a tiny, green frog on the armrest. He clung to his perch with splayed toes and never moved as I slowly opened it. What he did do was change from bright green to a grayish-olive as he shut his eyes to a slit. I think he hoped I'd think he was dead, but the quick rise and fall of his belly betrayed him.

I turned my back and he disappeared.

These creatures are in addition to the family of sparrows that line up on the deck rail each morning and evening, awaiting their turn at the feeder; and the humming birds that dart around our heads, fearless and demanding. We have witnessed many a  "dog fight" from these tiny aerialists.

It reminded me that our yard is host to hundreds, if not thousands of tiny lives, going about their business as unaware of me as I am of them. I know they are there when I stop to listen, especially in the late afternoon or at night. The chorus of chirps, tweets, whirrs, chuffs, croaks, and whistles fills the air.

They don't know they are minute inhabitants of a world that is spinning around at tremendous speed while careening through an ever-expanding universe. And in that universe, I am as minute a figure as the denizens of my back yard.

It makes me both humble and exhilarated.

Humble at my small place in the world, and exhilarated to be a part of it.


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