Steamed Heat arrived in St. Louis recently, lasting day and night. Never a break it seemed to me. An odd season of weather this year. June was a bath of rain from heaven above while July might have baked bread of rye. I wondered why? The heat stifled me a bit. My body, mind and spirit seemed to shut down. Although rested from cooling temperatures and the beauty of a trip north, the slap of 100+ heat index took a toll on me.
Silence in the back of my yard. No forest friends to welcome me. It was too hot for them to venture out from beneath their tent of trees. Truth be told, I only peered from the inside of window panes above cool air blowing up from the basement below. There, I hoped to see legs and tails. Wings and beaks. Fur and feathers together with animals playing hide and seek. Not to be. Sweltering you see.
When outside, my city felt like the inside of a sauna. During the day, mist covered the glass of homes, dulling sunlight that desperately tried to part invisible curtains. Itty-bitty bubbles, small and slight clung to sides of clear until they evaporated late in the day or perhaps not until the next. Steamed heat moved into neighborhoods, hiding any sign of window screens while air conditioning ran 24/7.
Yet last night a break in the weather! Cooler temperatures slid down into the 90’s with lower humidity and a breeze that floated under the skin of my nose. Tiptoeing outside to water fried flowers, I stopped to sit without burning the bare of my feet. As I often do, I gazed upward toward the top of the hill where crown vetch grows thick and tall this time of year.
There was movement to my left. Slight, but I was right. Except for eyes, I did not stir. Darting this way and that, the two of blue searched for what my heart had been seeking. Suddenly, four pointed ears, copper in color, peeked above the tall of green. Twin fawns, spotted in white munched on an endless dinner. Surely their mother would not be far away Seconds later, she stepped regally out of the woods in order to protect her young.
At the very same time, a blueish-grey turkey’s head meandered down the hill, gobbling all the way. Still I didn’t move, afraid I’d spook the beautiful bird of feathered brown. To my surprise, bobbing behind her were little rounds of balding blue. 1-2-3-4-5! Five babies or poults as they are officially called. I know this because I wrote a previous post that included them entitled What Nature Teaches You, http://wp.me/p41md8-1HQ. Still, it’s the first time I’d ever seen a hen leading five poults down the steep of the hill. Gobbling every few seconds, they moved their necks backward and forward, pecking a path towards their home among the darkened trees.
Just above my head hanging on a shady tree limb was a hummingbird feeder. Call me lucky, but while all of this was going on two different birds, one dressed in lime green feathers and the other black and white trimmed in red stopped to feed. They darted, flapping unseen wings while pointing long beaks into pink plastic flowers. Inside, the sweet of red colored sugar-water waited patiently.
In those moments of minutes I realized that life is all about timing. If Steamed Heat hadn’t lifted, I would have stayed in the house. If I hadn’t ventured onto my patio to water flowers, kick off my shoes or take a seat in those very seconds all would have been different. The animals I love may have still been foraging for food near fallen pine needles within the coolness of the forest. I know I have God to thank for timing as well as Steamed Heat!
For a brief moment I was disappointed a camera was not at my side to capture the glory of last evening. At the same time, I believe any slight movement of body or chair, a tilt of my head or a click of the camera would have startled all of God’s creatures. Although unable to share them, I’m fortunate to have the wonder of their pictures forever painted on the canvas of my mind.