24 March 2013

Palm Sunday in Palm Springs California

It was the kind of morning the desired a pot of tea rather than the usual cup. Cobalt ceramic teapot. Peppermint tea. Three bags. After fourteen days straight of harsh driving winds, sideways blow-in-your-face, show-no-mercy to your mail, your groceries, your trash, never mind your hair. Howling winds in the daytime a wind turbine at night. After fourteen days of that, the all-too-rare quiet morning descends upon this place like a heavenly calm. I wasn’t the only one to notice, not likely, not with that mockingbird serenading the Leo Moon at three a.m.

It woke me from a full and dreamy sleep. I listened for a moment to its charming chirping chatter. Thinking I must have slept until dawn, I glanced at my cell phone; 3:10. Really?

Is it a nightingale? It sure sounds like a mockingbird. I must be dreaming. I try to keep my brain cells from igniting.

      Chirp chirp chirp… bleedle bleedle bleedle… whoop chirp whoop chirp whoop whoop…      
      kneeddeep kneedeep kneedeep… reverb reverb reverb… tweet tweet...

It was no use. I get up just to make sure I’m not dreaming. I see no bird in the darkness, only a moon shining above the western hills as bright as the sun. Well, the bird’s just confused the moon for the sun, simple as that. But the longer it chirped and chirped the more convinced I became that today was going to be different.

And she continued to chirp until dawn, when I rose and looked out the window again. A tiny cottontail rabbit hopped about the empty field that my window looks out on. The mockingbird was perched atop the telephone pole. I knew it was her. I’d become intimately familiar with her vocalizations. There she was singing her little heart out. I grabbed the binoculars to get a better look. While holding the glasses up to my eyes a hummingbird whirred at my ear attracted, no doubt, to my shimmery purple shawl. A dove cooed in the shadows. Three crows cawed in the distance. A rooster crowed in a neighboring yard and then it dawned on me. It’s Palm Sunday, in Palm Springs!

It was going to be a glorious morning. I’ve learned not to tempt fate by assuming that a good morning will stretch into a good day. Those temperamental winds would rise up and roar without a moment’s notice. I brewed the tea, set a bowl of strawberries and Cheerios on the seldom-used patio table. I sped two bright yellow Oriels and a less bright plumed female. By the time I grabbed the camera they had hidden themselves but I managed to capture a few blurry shots. 

I set the teapot on the table and offered grace and gratitude. As I opened my eyes a hawk swooped down low with its wings fully out stretched right over my head, over the table and just over the rooftop. It was nothing short of magical.

And the mocking bird? She’s still singing her heart out.

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