Monday, July 20, 2009

A Page in the Life of a Writer

I am blessed in so many ways.

I get to write for a living, not always on the subjects of my choosing but, whatever the subject, I am guaranteed to learn something, about myself or the world or both. Often, the things I write help people - they can do their jobs more efficiently or safely, they can find something to take away to think about, to imagine, and perhaps even to make their own life happier or better. How great is that?!

Then too, I am lucky to work where I live. My commute is most often a short cruise from bedroom, to kitchen (for coffee), to desk. Or, better yet, to balcony. When weather (and sun) conditions permit, I sit out on my balcony, looking at the view featured at the top of this blog, listening to the sound of the small, homemade water feature on my balcony. I see the boats go by on the water, sails high, or power wakes white on the blue water. I see cruise ships leaving, their occupants ripe for adventure. Tankers filled with goods, coming and going, or anchoring in the waters in front. Planes and helicopters arrive and go, shining in the air. Seagulls soar by, crows congregate noisily on the building across the way, their jet black feathers sleek and glittering. Sometimes the blue glass surface of the water changes and is frothed with white and sparkles in the sun, like shards broken up by the wind.

All around me, my veggies and herbs grow, my flowers bloom, and nature, at her fragrant, colorful best keeps me company. Today I took a break from the manual I'm writing to stop typing and watch a big fuzzy bumblebee land on my lobelia. His black and yellow was a beautiful contrast to the bright blue and white flowers. As he landed for a moment on each blossom, his weight pulled the stem down. He gathered his pollen and then moved up to another stem, which descended as the previous one bobbed back up into place. Soon, the whole plant was bobbing up and down with his ministrations and with the gentle breeze that played around us both. As well, today I have seen 3 different butterflies here to visit my garden: a plain, whitish-yellow one, a brighter white one, almost transparent, with blue-black markings on the tips of its wings, and a bright yellow and black striped one. Who says the life of a writer is lonely?

I have a resident rufous sided towhee who gives his shrieking call and comes to scratch in the pots on my balcony. When I'm outside and he arrives, he's rather more shy and sits on the railing, hopping a bit, and cocking his head to one side to study me. "What," he seems to be saying, "are you doing here on my balcony?" He waits, a bit impatiently, for me to finish what I'm doing and go back inside before he goes about his business here.

Then there is the hummingbird who lives in the shrubs below. At the beginning of the season, he does his territorial display, soaring high straight up in the air, hanging still for a second, and then dive-bombing straight down at ridiculous speed. Over and over, in front of my balcony and my window, he shoots up and down and up and down until I am dizzy watching him and don't know how he cannot be dizzy himself. Sometimes he flies up, level with my balcony, a beautiful green jewel shining in the sun, suspended, his wings moving so quickly they're invisible. Best of all though, is when he comes to visit my flowers, as he is just now, pushing his tiny beak into the openings of my petunias and checking out the bright red snapdragons.

My little home, and its balcony in particular, is paradise on days like these.

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