this very ocean (written at the end of may)
yesterday, late in the evening, after i had played some songs on my keyboard, i sat there in my music room and listened. the window was wide open and it was very quiet outside. there was no car on the street, and all i heard was the soft and fleshy flapping of the lilac leaves in the warm breeze that came around the corner of the house. i smoked a cigarette and watched the smoke curl out of the window into the soft dark air. from across the street i could hear a cow moaning in the farmer`s barn. sometimes when i hear the cows in the dark i feel reminded of the times when we lived out there in the savanna, with no real houses, with no streets and no street lamps, with just a fire place and our cattle somewhere with us.
last year i even heard the young foxes playing up there in the forest, their joyful, playful barking echoing from the hills.
hey, there comes a martin hopping along the sidewalk on the other side of the road. i lean out of the window and adress him: "i see you!" he stops for a moment and looks at me, then quickly disappears around the corner, haha...
this morning i woke up and felt nicely refreshed from a peaceful sleep. the sun shone into the windows when i wakened up my little daughter to bring her to the school bus. when we walk along the road to the bus stop we often watch what`s going on: how the sky looks, how the clouds look, which bird is to be heard, finch, robin, blackbird, wren, or whatever. she looks for traces of horses that might be in the grass beside the pavement. did they wear horse shoes or not?
when i come home after she left for school, i usually drink a cup of coffee and smoke a cigarette in my music room again. When it`s warm enough, my window is always open there.
today the sun was nice and i looked at the lilac - wow, the blossoms have grown bigger since yesterday and start to open already, how i love that sight.
well, then i take the dogs, dalli, püppi and zwiebel, and go out through the backdoor into the garden. i carry a small bucket full of wheat for the five chickens we have. ha! a black crow sits on a birch in my neighbour`s garden - "croak! croak!" means "hey i`m hungry, hurry up!" there are aways one or two crows and some sparrows eating the chicken food when no one`s around. but dalli is on the watch either. she doesn`t like that and chases the crows away whenever she sees them. she very well distinguishes between the black hens who belong to the family and the black crows who don`t.
so i throw out the corn and take three fresh eggs out of the boxes in the little hut. one of them is still warm and feels really good in my hand, so smooth and clean.
now i have time to look around in the garden. yesss, the air smells delicious from all the new leaves and blossoms and flowers everywhere. ah, and there also comes a whiff of horse scent from the neighbourhood - so delicious and refreshing. my eyes wander over yellow tulips. behind the garden, behind the white blossoms of the apple tree, the cherry blossom is over already, stretches out our long pasture which is now full of lush green grass with loads of bright yellow dandelions. i lick my lips because i know that soon my woman will be cutting off many of them to make jam from their petals - it tastes very honeylike and although i normally don`t go too much for jam or honey i like to spread this on my bread...
when i turn around to go back to the house i realize what a nice orchestra is playing the sweetest music - i hear the joyous songs of the larks over the fields, i hear the stout trumpet of the tiny wren in the hedge, i hear the faint little melodies of the gold finch, i hear the fine pearly tunes of the robin, i hear the little variations of the green finch, i hear the redstart sounding like he was crushing tiny pebbles in his beak, i hear the enchanting quarrel of the sparrows, i hear the pleasant chat of the swallows on the roof, and i hear the hoarse and seagullish cry of the kite from high above. everytime he flies over our garden, he looks down and i have the feeling that he looks straight at me while sailing on slowly and majesticly. i always greet him, a decent neighbour. sometimes he sounds like: "hey people, i can flyyyy!" enjoying every wave of his wings, every turn of his body high up in the air, looking down at our tiny village.
i think of the lapwings that returned from the south some weeks ago. i saw three big flocks of them on the fields. who ever saw them flying and playing in the air will understand why i smiled when i saw them: they are the clowns of the air. lapwings is a good name for them, because they turn around like drunken sailors lapping their wings, looking so clumsy and funny. but when you really watch them, and when you see how fast they chase each other, you have to admit that they are in fact quite skilled flyers.
of course they can`t match the crows. if you want to know how skilled they are, you have to watch them during a storm. the fiercer the wind blows, the more they seem to enjoy it. they play with the blasts of air and ride on top of them like surfers on the surf.
well, for the fastest flyers we are still waiting to arrive from the south. they are my favourites, and they live up to their name like the lapwings - no doubt, the swifts are the swiftest. i love when they dash around the chimneys crying on top of their voices, and piercing voices they have. their silhouettes look like sharp sickles. that`s where you can distinguish them from the swallows, swallows always flap their wings to the bodies, swifts keep them stretched out like knives, cutting the air. during summer the sky by and by fills with their young ones flying out of their nests. what a sight, what a sound, all those little clouds of flying and crying swifties, yeeehaaaw!
springtime, what a nice time of the year - everything seems to be fresh and new! sometimes it feels like every little being enjoys life in this pleasant time. even the little daisies stretch their cute little faces out of the grass and thank god for this fine new day. there are millions and millions of them and they all seem to look alike. still i`m sure there wasn`t one single second in all of times when one single daisy ever felt the least sting of envy for the beautiful roses, or any other proud flower - they simply enjoy every day, may the sun shine or may it rain. i love them for that, they remind me to be humble and thankful to be alive.
on my way back to the house i suddenly hear another nice inhabitant of our garden - our little frog in the pond. i say little, although i couldn`t manage to see him yet. but he sounds ever so tender and tiny, he must be very small: "hi froggy - nice to hear you! "
the whole area where i live looks like freshly painted now. some days ago my daughter and i had to drive to the next bigger town for something, and we were in a bit of a hurry. still i didn`t want to miss the chance for some nice photos. so i gave rebecca my camera and asked her to take some shots for me out of the window of the driving car. now look at the fine picture she took of one of my fave places around.
last summer she spent many hours at our pond with her little tea net, trying to fish out some animals.
it brought back memories of my childhood when i loved to do the same. the main difference is the variety of species in the pond. back then we had many, many more different animals in our pond. but still she caught some pond skaters and put them in the rainwater barrel, and she caught some tadpoles. imagine how proud i was of her, when she showed them to me and said: "papa, look - newt tadpoles!" she immediately had spotted them as newts and not as frogs!
later we found an adult newt on the path.
what a day! the sun comes up higher now and all colours shine so bright, the air is so clear. in the distance i see the yellow fields of rapeseed. their yellow is even brighter than that of the dandelions, contrasting so sharp to the deep blue of the sky. "hey dalli, what about a little walk?" what a question. she immediately starts to jump around me, every movement saying: "yes! yes! yes!" cute thing.
and so we slowly walk along the street. after a short while we turn into a narrow road which leads down to the brook. we pass by some houses with nice gardens, we pass by some bamboo bushes, a small pasture with goats, and just before we reach the brook, there are even two tiny ponies, who look curiously at us from underneath their long bushy manes.
ah, the water - there it is, rushing out from underneath the bridge. always fresh, always new, always talking relentlessly. we turn left to walk along the brook. there is a little wooden hut with an old bench, covered with lichen, all surrounded by elder bushes. i love this cuddly place. next to that, at the edge of the field, there`s a bush of lilac in full bloom - wow, what a sight! the fat purple blossoms against the yellow rapeseed field. the yellow rape is so bright, it almost "deafens" my eyes. then the thick green of the lush grass and all that framed by a perfect blue sky.
it`s exactly the right morning to walk here. dalli runs around excitedly, sniffing for mice. i don`t have to call her, she never walks too far away, she knows her radius perfectly well, while i take some photos, enjoying the honeyish scent of the rapeseed.
as a boy i loved the combination of green and blue, or the mixture of these two colours. But then i had to learn - "green and blue, wears the jester sin fru!" (i mixed english with low german for the sake of the rhyme, haha - sin fru = his woman). we often were told that, but i couldn`t understand it, i simply couldn`t help loving this combination. many years later i understood:
if ever there was a jester, god himself has to the greatest one. yepp, i solved that problem. whysoever would he have set the green trees against the blue sky? god father giving earth mother the finest of dresses.
on my way back i drop by the neighbour farmer to ask for some wheat and some straw for the chickens. he tells me to look into the barn. oh boy, there it is: a cute little new born calf - so that`s why the cow couldn`t stop moaning last night.
well, looking at all this, looking at the beauty spread out everywhere around me, despite all horrible and dreadful things that are going on at the same time, i simply can`t help to enjoy life, to enjoy sharing every single moment with my beloved ones.
many years ago, when i lived in the city, i had the vision, that we are sort of corals in the sea, the air being the water, the houses being our reef. when we leave the house to go out there, we`re still connected with invisible glowing threads. hmm, are we gods tentacles? anyway, i enjoy sharing this very ocean with all peaceful beings that are living right now on this very earth.
when i searched for the photos to illustrate this little "story" i happend to look into a folder from some weeks ago - snow! i took that shot while driving home from a session at my friend`s place. winter seemed to be never ending this year, and we got snow after snow, ice after ice. when i look at that now, that feels like decades ago.
and now, as i finally prepaire this whole thing for posting on dA, we are already in the mid of summer, harvest is here and the air smells delicious one more time - of fresh straw......