Thursday, February 25, 2016

Another Woods Sighting

This morning, as I walked, I saw an animal I am not sure I've ever seen in the wild. I was walking down the dirt road to my turn-around by the horse farm and suddenly, there was a small Florida bobcat walking towards me. We both stopped and regarded each other for maybe a second or two and then he or she turned around and like the fox the other day, melted into the woods.
The woods and swamps are so beautiful right now, filled with water and the palmettos and bright green new ferns coming out. The soft moss, the fungus growing on downed trees, the glossy green of the magnolias which keep their leaves all winter long. The sky is cloudless, the air is cool. I saw some downed branches and a great large one had fallen in the yard of a trailer where I pass, knocking the mailbox from the post.
In another trailer yard, I saw a sign for Trump and I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, just as I felt this morning when I read George Will's latest column in the paper which blames Obama for Trump's takeover of the Republican party.
I mean...
I mean...
Well, yes, if by saying that it's his fault because people have finally found a hero in a man who is an avowed racist, like they are.

Phew. Well.

I would rather think of the bobcat, small and tidy, silent and shy, living in the woods by the little pond which I pass, sleeping under the palmettos which grow under the pines.

Or this girl.

Clothes on the line, birds chittering at the feeder, the finches turning gold as spring approaches. Trees full of robins, dappled shade, a squirrel sitting up on the edge of a clay pot, holding his little hands clasped together in front of his white chest. A brilliantly-colored redheaded woodpecker, scooping air with his wings to go from tree to feeder, scattering the other birds. The gray and white cat coming onto the porch for leg-weaving and kibble crunching. 
There is still a good breeze and the magnolia shakes its rusty leaves and the towels on the line billow and relax. An old white cotton slip of mine dances as if it were a sail. 

Every day I wake up and think of all the things I should do with my life. Go take yoga in town, do volunteer work with...someone...perhaps learn to paint or join a club. A club! They have them for everything! Gardening and bird watching and books and cat fanciers!
Oh dear. No. 
It's too much to even think about. 
And I feel guilty for making my world so very small. 

But on a day like today with all of this before me, around me, surrounding me, right here for me to see and hear and listen to if I simply remain still and open, I can't imagine why I would want to do any of those things. 
Well, the volunteering...

My mother was one of the biggest volunteers in the universe. Her good-deed doing was legendary. And I do think her heart was in the right place with it. And she loved her bridge club. Adored it. Until she couldn't follow the game any more and what a heartbreak for her that was. She was a sociable woman, a joiner, a do-er. 

Me? Ah well, not cut from the same cloth. 

But I have a silver-plated platter engraved with thanks to her on it from some club she belonged to. It's still in the original box. And what do you do with that?

Well. I've gone from a bobcat in the woods to my mother. Not a long journey in my mind, but like with the Trump thing, I'd rather think of this day, perfect in the very whole life of it. 
And I am not alone in it. Not one bit.

One of my companions, Jack The Cat, who no longer fears crossing the threshold into the house one bit and who actually jumped into the lap of Mr. Moon this morning. And there is the orange cat and the rooster and the hens and we keep each other fine company, no need for small talk, none at all.

As small as my life is, I am not sure I could handle it if it were any bigger. 

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. i have felt exactly the same, that I could be doing more with my life. It's MY life though and I'm content with the smallness of it.
    Enjoy your good days Mary!

  2. I've seen bobcats near my house from time to time; they
    have the most wonderful eyes. I always wish they'd come around more often.

  3. How exciting..we only have one wild cat in the uk and they are very rare and live in scotland

  4. That endless struggle with my conscience, all these tormenting thoughts about whether I am doing enough, making a difference, helping. I was like my own internal preacher.
    All out of the window now, the blessings of a chronic illness.
    (Only now, I get to do it sitting down. But I have a perfect excuse.)

  5. Heartinhand- Oh. I do. Thank you, sweet woman!

    A- Mr. Moon told me that with all of his time in the woods, he's rarely seen one. Me either! They are very shy around here. So beautiful.

    John Gray- A Scottish wild cat? Oh my.

    Sabine- Oh sweetie. I think we all worry too much. Maybe? About things we "should" be doing. When really, all we have to do is take care of ourselves and our beloveds and the places where we are and treat each other with kindness. I wish you hadn't had that excuse forced upon you with all of my heart.

  6. I love that picture of Maggie and of Jack too!

  7. I love that you've seen a bobcat and fox in the same week. That's got to mean something and something beautiful and significant! And my two cents regarding your ambivalence about "volunteering" is that you spend so much time with your family and taking care of all those babies. I know it's family and that you LOVE doing it and all of that, but it's volunteering all the same. You do plenty of it. You also volunteer your art every single day through this blog, entertaining and educating and moving us over and over and over. I think you've made an incredible life and been over-the-top generous in sharing it.

  8. I live a small life, too, and I couldn't be happier. I did the volunteering when I was younger and I did the caring for a parent over the last eight years and I expect to be doing caring for the other parent sometime in the next decade and right now I look after my husband and three cats and sometimes my grownup kids and my grandson. A season for everything.

  9. Why would you join a club if you don't want to?

    I'd rather see the bobcat too - very exciting.

    Oh, Dear God, Donald Trump. The fact that it's possible for this man to run for president adn do so well this far is what everyone is terrified of about America. It's mind-boggling.

  10. Your life is plenty big in all the important ways. Don't you think? Volunteering and club-going and that sort of thing is fine for some but it's not a requirement. I'm not such a joiner either.

    Congrats on the bobcat sighting! I've only seen them once or twice, and it's been YEARS and now, as I type this, I'm doubting whether I actually ever saw one at all. But in any case, that's special.

    Trump -- well, you know how I feel about that. I gotta read that Will column. Delusional!

  11. Your world is anything but small. I'm not a joiner either though I am a doer. and Trump and worse, Cruz...I am appalled at what America has become. or was it always this way but we just didn't see it til we had a black president? I have had to distance myself from politics this election cycle. I just can't take all the poison that is being spewed.


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