October 17, 2009

My Favorite Things

Raindrops on Roses and whiskers on kittens

Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens

Brown paper packages tied up with string

These are a few of my favorite things

I sit on the tip of an old wood canoe and glide down the Cuyabeno River in the jungle of Ecuador. This classic Sound of Music song naturally and unconsciously slips out of my mouth. The gorgeous 40’ tiny leafed trees are literally engulfed by ivy-like vines. Many trees look like some sort of formidable monster that will start walking toward you and eat you at any moment. But the giant Ceibo trees, majestic and white trunked, usually host brightly colored parrots on their uppermost branches. We hear crawing and have learned to crane our necks up and spot them immediately. It is raw and authentic; I am watching different species of parrots and toucans and all other kinds of birds in their true home, not in someone’s cramped cage on their back porch in Salem.

The best part about the jungle was not looking at anything at all. It was holding still and listening. The chorus of birds is explosive, melodic, entrancing. It is one of the most beautiful sounds I have ever heard in my life. And every few hours some species of the birds would finish their shift, a new species join the chorus, and the song entirely changed its tune.

And as I sat on the dock late at night and stared over the river and up at the stars, the magic of the moment washed over me.

One week later I sit on my patio in Oregon on my salvage rocking chair.

I am in Salem, Oregon on a gorgeous autumn morning. I hear the leaves rustle together on the giant oak tree next door. The weather is a crisp 60 and the air smells so delicious. Of wetness and earth, an inexplicable primitive smell that touches my being.

I’ve not seen a tree changing color in a year. And the morning sun pierces through the brilliant red and yellow leaves as though the glowing tree is a gem, a gift from God. The colors all around me are rich hues of mahogany, brass, emerald, and goldenrod. And, although not exactly exotic, I smile as I watch the squirrels dance on the top of the fence and the bluebirds hop around looking for their breakfast.

…These are a few of my favorite things.

It is good to be home.

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