March 28th, 2003

caillebotte_man at his window

Cat and Slug

A tom cat was just prowling outside my window, closed now against the cold which has returned. Still, I heard his loud call. My old cat barely stirred herself. The day when such things caught her interest is gone. She is content to nap, until I head toward the kitchen. Food! That gets her interest. I fill her bowl, and, of course, the other cat wants some as well. While they eat, I go out into the night. My flashlight reveals the bright yellow eyes of the tom, as he rests on the large, flat rock in the front yard next door. When I turn the light away, I can sense him watching me. I fetch the newspaper from the driveway. When I return to my door, I flash the light his way again. The bright points of his eyes are still there. I am pleased to share the night with him. He, most likely, condescends to share it with me. Indoors, my cats, sated for the moment, have fallen asleep. Briefly, I feel a twinge of envy. How pleasant it must be, to be so at ease in the world, so comfortable within a supple, furry skin, to see in the deep shadows, to leap with such grace, run with such speed, vanish from human sight with such legerity. The thought fades, and I return to my keyboard only to realize that it is not my body for which I wish the agility, and capacity for repose, of a cat.; the wordless space mocks me, and I know that I would have those attributes for my sluggish thoughts.

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caillebotte_man at his window

More Nothing to Say Than I Thought

All afternoon, I kept getting ideas for posts. Now that I have the time to make one, the ideas have vanished. My brain is perverse.

In lieu of an actual entry, a few random observations:

This was the first day of the year that was warm enough for the windows to be open all afternoon.

I made some very tasty mushroom gravy tonight. It seldom turns out that well. I wish I could remember how I did it.

The apple trees at the back of the orchard, which are difficult to get a look at because they are younger and smaller than the trees at the front, along the road, are now in full bloom with bright pink blossoms. The near trees, which will soon sport white blossoms, have as yet barely put out their buds.

There was a mild breeze blowing through town this afternoon, and I went down to the edge of the canyon to listen to the trees singing. The birds were enjoying it, too, but it was mostly jays and crows that I heard. So far this spring, I have heard only one lark. Last spring, a tree in the field behind the orchard drew dozens of larks. Their singing was like a tiny calliope. Houses have since been built all around the tree. I doubt that the larks will return to it. I have no idea where they will gather now.

While the wind here was mild, it was strong enough in Los Angeles to merit mention in the Sacramento newspaper. Reading about it made me nostalgic for those spring days when I would travel from the moderately breezy San Gabriel Valley, through a windy downtown, and on to Santa Monica, where lethal pieces of palm trees would go flying through the streets and the windows of shops would boom with the powerful gusts and make the reflections shudder. Once, getting off the bus on Ocean Avenue, I had to catch a woman was nearly blown over by the wind. Then I walked along the palisades and watched the few sailing boats piloted by daring skippers heel and bob through the whitecaps, and the long strings of kites rising into the sunlit sky from the beach. I love the spring winds in the beach towns.