by Sarah Hubbard (Chickadee)
On my perfect day the wind would be blowing from the southeast – right off the ocean. You would be able to smell the salt water in the air. The sun would be warm and bright leaving a light pink glow on my skin while enough of a nip still lingering in the breeze that I almost need long sleeves in the shade. A white throated sparrow would be heralding in the dogwood blooms and the pine warblers would be singing to the pine trees calling the pollen to fall and coat the world in yellow. The last of this seasons Pine Siskins would call from the sweet gums while a Nuthatch pair cling to the trees in the way only they can plucking the juiciest of insects from between the cracks in the bark.
When I inhale deeply I can smell the soil in the garden ripe with the freshly sifted compost added to the recently turned beds.
Male cardinals would chase one another around the yard determining who would get the prime places for nesting and the loveliest of the females. There is always the youngest of the cardinal males who confuses his reflection in the glass door with another male and flies into it leaving him stunned and me remembering I need to make sure the door is dirty for the next few weeks.
The yellow poppies would be opening up bringing the first glimpse of summer to the garden. The iris blossoms would be swelling up as a reminder of my beloved grandmother and my earthly link to the heavenly realms of life. I would have to watch my step as the garden edges began to fill with the dandelions bursting through in the least likely of places. I would not be able to refrain from picking a dandelion and blowing its seeds all over the yard making wishes for my families health and happiness. The purple violets would explode in subtle color waiting to be picked to be eaten with the salad greens growing in the garden and I would dig up a few to make sure they spread into all the right places.
The sky would be the most perfect shade of blue. It would be so blue the color would be indescribable as no man made color could ever be that shade of blue. I would imagine what it feels like to be the Red Shouldered Hawk soaring on the air thermals calling to the day. White clouds whose edges are lightly grayed due to the water they have been absorbing would move slowly across the sky shading the sun every now and then, but only for a brief moment in time. The sun would duck behind the cloud just long enough to call my attention to it, but short enough that I don’t worry about the rain that we will have in a few days today. When I glance up towards the sun the reflection of the light off the clouds is just too bright. I would pull my hat down just a little lower over my eyes.
The first of the honey bees would be drinking in the nectar of the white clover
just beginning to bloom. I would be so grateful they were in my yard and still on this earth. I would have to stop whatever I was doing to watch a yellow sulfur butterfly float weightlessly on the breeze to wherever its journey carries it. I would marvel at it wondering what it feels like to be that weightless and wonder at its perfect shade of sunlight in a still leafless world. It would float in the direction of the lenten rose where the sunlight passing through it would drop me to my knees to drink in the rich purple of its flower as it just begins to open and welcome spring also.
A green anole would catch my eye. I would have no choice but to chase it down to put it in the greenhouse for pest control. A tufted titmouse would splash in the birdbath cleansing itself before getting back to the busy work of feeding its mate. A wren would actively be gathering all the right materials to her build her nest and I would wish I would have remembered to make a bird nest supply kit – you never know just what they will need – hair, yarn, dryer lint, or lichens.
On my perfect day there would be dirt under my fingernails and stains on my pants from kneeling down in the garden inspecting a spider who is hanging out waiting for the perfect meal only millimeters from a drop of dew still held on the tip of a lettuce leaf. I would have to question whether we were going to have salad today or tomorrow. Worms would move in the soil with each turn of the trowel and in each breath presence would be my only thought.