I have come to my summer porch to take in the late afternoon sun.
The old porch is hexagonal and has two squeaky wooden doors, two ripped screens and a weathered mahogany floor.
In one corner I spy a robust little pile of mouse droppings. They betray a foolishly circuitous trail; a rodent’s version of the Hansel and Gretel tale.
Under the small wrought iron table I find two soft grey feathers. Feathers like those from the breast of a grey catbird. They lie discarded, side by side. I can’t help but hope that she didn’t struggle too long before finding her way back through the opening in the ripped screen.
Around the old iron table sit four bright yellow chairs – one of which has a long black hair entwined tightly around a securing strut. Was it yanked from the head of the person because they rose too quickly? How long has it been there? Why do I not remember having a visitor with such long black hair?
And as I write this an electric green dragon fly encircles my big toe.
I want him to light down on my blue painted toenail. My mind silently chants “do it, do it, do it.” He chooses not to heed my psychic call.
So now I turn my gaze to the hummingbird feeder. I have filled it with sweet sugar water in just the right enticing ratio. But no one has visited yet this year. I used to have a visitor. He would frequently hover just inches from my face. We would study each other. The sound of his frantic wings would fill my ears and I would worry about the short distance between his beak and my eyes. But it was always thrilling.
I googled Mr. Hummingbird’s repeat visits. It had to mean something, right? What I learned was that Native Americans believed a hummingbird was sent as a reminder to live in the moment.
I can see now that I have both missed moments and tried to control moments. And I am still doing both. I came here not to witness mid-summer beauty, but to distract myself from my preoccupation with wishing for another’s wellness. The nagging truth is that a wish, no matter how badly one wants it, does not create reality.
How can such a lovely thing, a wish, be also such a sobering thing?
As I write this I realize I have not learned a thing. I flex my painted toes and scan the yard. I am still waiting for that little green hummingbird to visit me again.