What better way to ponder lifes meaning then hearing and seeing The King Of Soul James Brown sing and dance to hot pants...I dare you not to get up and boogie..or at least smile.
I've been blessed to be lakeside a few days a week this summer. I'm I chick born in the urban burbs, yes there is such a thing, and generally a full time New York City dweller. NYC is the place I call home. The place I park my slippers, if I had any, the place I've known for better or worse over twenty years.
My time at the lake is nearly over. I'll be saying goodbye to walking barefoot on the grass, the rowboat and most of all my animal pals. I love these beasts. The chipmunks, the beavers, dears. all my bird buds. Especially my groundhog pal I've named Neddybear. He is adorable and is in a bromance with my cat Tiggs. Last week I was surprised by seeing another groundhog that looked like my Neddy. How I knew it was not Ned was because Ned was chomping pieces of an apple in the front and the other was chomping an apple under the apple tree that has no apples in the back yard. Had I been a victim of The Parent Game. Were they doing a Patty Duke?? Identicle impish cousins?? NAH! One was a bully and chased the other away. I tried to take close up pics to see if only one had the mole, but no luck. They both had it in the same place. All I know is there are more then one groundhog on this taco stand of land and I love em all. The family of raccoons come waddling by in the PM. They shun the bird seed and go off in search of better food. They must be getting some good food in the neighborhood because they all look like they are sci fi monster raccoons.
Its funny when the birds see me come out to feed them. There's a very loudmouthed bluejay that lets every bird within ten miles know grub time. Its loud but I love it. I see the tiny chipmunks chow and store the grub in their cheeks like the best vacuum on the market. I know the finches are chatty. The sparrows (I call them the churpchills because the males markings remind of Winston) are brave. The Elvis looking tiny bird can really belt one out for a little dude. He even has the chubby Elvis belly. I get small woodpeckers that peck their beeks against the wooden beam before they dig in for a sunflower seed. Theres one beautiful big woody woodpecker that comes around every now and then. The cardinals are a riot after the rain. Their foofy pompadours are slicked down. Yes, even birds can have bad hair days. Right now I'm surrounded by the sounds of crickits, the chirping of the finches, the whirly bird sound of a mourning dove, and all these sounds that I am so lucky to hear. They may not know this but they all have been my friends. Sweet companions that go about their lives the way nature has intended.
As far as my water pals go I can't forget the sweet and beautiful swan couple that come around every day. They make a nest right across the way from this yard.. She sits patiently for a couple months waiting for her eggs to hatch, but that day never comes and hasn't for the past five years. Somehow she knows its time to get off the nest and go back to traveling the lake with her guy. There are also loads of ducks, just little babies. They paddle along minding their own beeswax. Life is not without peril for these guys. There are predator birds, animals. When a hawk or eagle is around, the crows, bluejays and little birds chirp their heads off in warning and to send it away. The hawks and eagles are majestic birds. They are hunters because of nature only. Humans are the only species that kill for fun, or hate or a deer head or whatever. I just go out and let the hawk or eagle know that I'm there and if they have to eat a bird please don't pick on one here. Funny, they end up leaving.
Then we come to the ultimate peril. Road kill. I turn my head anytime I see one because I think I probably knew it. As Summer turns to Fall, not only do I notice the leaves change from glorious green, to the bright oranges and reds and yellows, I notice the difference in the amount of critters in the beginning of summer to the beginning of fall. RIP my pals. The cycle of life in front of my face every day.
I can go two or three days without seeing a human being. I can be a grunge queen and kick around in shorts or sweats and tees with my hair up like pebbles Flintstone with not one brush point of makeup touching my face. I can eat only cereal and cookies then kick back with a coors light or a glass of wine. I can be this me. The talking to animals Dr Doolittle wannabe. At peace with myself and all these creatures and their sounds and presence. At all times I have my faithful fur baby Tiggs at my side or at Neds or is it Ted or Fred?? This is truly a great respite from the city. No Hamptons where the people you don't want to see in the city you certainly don't want to see when you are on vacation. There are no airs here. No mansions on the beach, no trendy restaurants. No I do this and what do you do. Just a hi, nice to meet you..Just people.
I'm back to the city of 8 million people tomorrow. The me that walks the sidewalk, befriends dogs and sometimes their owners. I'll say "hi ' to the people in my life in one way or another. City Grace, Lake Grace. We are one in the same. As I type I am 100% at peace with this moment. One I'll never ever have again as time ticks on. I am blessed, I am grateful and for now I am whole.
Now get on up wherever you may be and get dancin, Hot Pants!!!