One of my favorite places to do this is the Runway Dog Park on Rawson Ave., just east of Howell Ave. in Oak Park, WI. Elliot and I had it all to ourselves this morning—that is, except for the myriad birds—sandpipers, red-winged blackbirds, robins, goldfinches, woodpeckers, hawks—that were celebrating the new season and preparing for new life. There is a time in that process for quiet, waiting, filling. And this is what I have been doing as my teaching responsibilities come to an end this week.
Next week I will write the program notes for my recital, finalize the formatting for my book of poems, and of course, keep practicing—scrubbing at those tough spots that just don’t want to be smoothed away. They are there in my “garden,” as well—weeds growing inches a day while I don’t have the necessary energy to do away with them. New raspberry canes have decided that they want to grow in the middle of our back lawn. Next week I will decide what to do about them—often it’s the imperfections that make the beauty. Today I may get as far as soaking my morning glory seeds.
Today started with the dog park, a supportive piano lesson with Stefanie, and a very slow quarter-mile swim. Then Elliot and I sat out on the back deck, ate lunch and listened to the songbirds (which actually have to learn their music too. I didn’t know that until recently). According to the website at Cornell University, “Many songbirds keep learning even after setting out on their own as a youngster. The songs of a particular bird can change over time. During his first nesting season, for example, a young male Indigo Bunting sings an odd song unique to himself, and typically different from his father’s. “
But I’ll bet they don’t memorize their songs in order to win money. They’re out for something much more important!