I’m still tip-toeing around this place like an uncertain guest. Stopping to pause at every window, checking to see that the sky is still there.
Stepping across the road to retrieve the mail, the old corn field opens before me like the ocean. Waves of grain lap at my feet and the sense of spaciousness is palpable, there in that vertigo moment on the edge. Walking out across our own field with the twins, I feel conspicuous, exposed, as a hawk glides against the clear blue sky above us.
One early visit, before the big move, we found evidence of the hawk’s appetites. A squirrel’s tail, tufts of feathers and fluff scattered under a giant pine tree. I wonder about the chickens we’ll keep and the kitten (s) I hope to have one day, I picture them crossing the field under that narrowed eye.
There’s a Mourning Dove building a nest in the smallest of the pines, a fluffy overgrown Christmas tree. She lands near the base of the house gathering the exact pieces she needs to build a safe place for her eggs.
We all hang close to the house, garage, retreat, these things seem more familiar somehow and I work, spiraling through in expanding circles, to make them more familiar yet. The sound of laundry in the dryer, the smell of peppers, onions and garlic sauteed, these are the twigs and leaves with which I line my nest.
Last night, while I swung on the old porch swing, Isaiah found a bird’s egg, a small pinkish orb. I expected it to feel like air in the palm of my hand, the nothingness that it was, but it carried a weight of its own. It was cold to the touch and showed just the tiniest sign of impact.
The egg that fell, lost from love and life was found again with much rejoicing, no matter its sorry state.
Just before dinner we pull out a kite, a cheap plastic red and black ladybug and I watch from the driveway’s macadam as John throws the bright flag wind-ward, tossing it toward heaven until it catches on breath unseen. The four of them spin there in the open field, faces lifted toward that bright blue while the bit of red soars, dancing. Isaiah runs in giddy circles, then falls to the grass, rolling, as Levi and I walk out hand-in-hand to join them.
Something ancient in us whispers there is danger in wide, open spaces, but a deeper voice draws us to the edge. There is another eye that watches; the hawk is not the only one and we too were made for soaring.