This morning I woke early, and went outside and roamed the garden with the Wild Dog and Stan - yes, we roamed PamDaniStan (as it has been recently named by the eclair-making postdoc over a lunch of Folly Road mexican food), grateful that it was a Saturday, grateful that we didn't have to rush off somewhere, and grateful for - the reality that everyday - for days - that cedar waxwings have been hanging out in the side garden, never far from the Savannah Holly - a tree once covered in red berries (with far fewer berries on this Saturday morning).
The waxwings have relaxed a bit - they don't rush off when I walk around, or when Stanley and the Wild Dog are outside - they've come to realize that it is unlikely that we will sprout wings and join them in the upper branches of the chinese tallow trees. As a result their personalities have become more evident, their interactions with one another more apparent, and their expressions - they are just remarkably expressive, a trait most likely enhanced by their distinct markings (those eyes!).
While I wish they could stay, I know that they will move on soon. I always miss them for awhile after they go.
The week was busy (as the waxwings enjoyed the berries and the fragrance of the wisteria roamed the upper deck). There was a good meeting with my architherapist - we have a good plan, but we are still working on an area towards the back of the house where the kitchen and pantry and stairs (to both the downstairs and upstairs) and a door to the back deck all merge - I need to think about this over the weekend. There were other meetings, with my students, other students, colleagues -- a quick read-through of the eclair-making postdoc's poster presentation for today's meeting, last minute edits to a student's project summary for her doctoral dissertation proposal (that is now in the hands of her committee), edits to another student who is working on revisions to her dissertation, and a meeting with two colleagues to discuss statistical issues related to an awkward dataset. There was, as there always is, a mid-week meeting of the laboratory - where a new member of the laboratory mentioned an article that we all seemed to have missed (on changes in coral microbial communities with disease - but more importantly, one that showed recovery). So we talked, and listened, and talked - while leftovers from an Easter dinner last Sunday were shared and the wisteria continued to bloom and the waxwings continued to eat - and Katherine, who had been pondering the passage of time lately, shared a poem with us.
On Earth By William Stafford (from Verse and Universe: Poems about Science and Mathematics, Kurt Brown, Ed., Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 1998
one not ours, could have these lakes
to drink out of, any time.
And other laws could come besides
the ones we have, all springing
from a force that makes them right.
The lives we have, while we have them,
can measure time, before and after
today, to use or give away.
On earth it is like this, a strange
gift we hold, while we look around.