February 19: I make a pretty decent grilled cheese sandwich. But when the brew pub placed their sandwiches before us, we were transfixed by the delicate bridal train of cheese, all crispy lace and flourish, that slipped behind the business end of the sandwich’s bread and filling. We came for the filling, and left remembering the casual gift of offhand kindness.
February 20: Swoops, dives, even midair larceny of another’s fish dinner. In a pool of sunshine with the lake visible through winter-bare trees, I gaped at the photos my friend had made of the bald eagles nesting near his yard. And then I looked up to rest my eyes. There in front of me was another wind-borne ballet, as though the eagles wanted to prove how lifelike my friend’s photos truly were.
February 21: I walked to church today, although we don’t meet in person. Summoned by the bright sun and birdsong, I stepped carefully around the ice to embrace what the day would bring. By chance I approached the sanctuary just as two young baritones sang of hope. I peeked in and smiled. One glanced back. I kept going, feeling for a moment like I was there and hope was here.
February 22: The neighborhood fox walked by my window this morning, eyes squinted against the sleet. He disappeared from view, angling toward the house. I wondered if he chose to find shelter in the embrace of our huge ornamental grasses, which I keep in all their dry, reedy glory for moments just like this.
February 23: Two little girls scampered past my window this morning, close enough for me to see the zippers on their matching confetti-sprinkled coats. They stopped at a hollow patch in our yard, which collects snow melt and freezes into a tiny pond, just big enough for their matching cowboy boots to slide. Soon they were joined by an even smaller girl in a puffy silver coat, and a little boy with a nose for fun. I wonder whether the video conference camera captured my grin.
February 24: Nature is sending messages. Today I saw two pair of ducks on the creek. And then a male and female cardinal on our rose bush. So, Kevin, what should we do this weekend?
February 25: Truly, I’m not seeking them out. Birds are finding me this week. Today I watched sandpipers skittering along the fringe of surf, a seagull scavenging sandwich bits, a turkey vulture soaring overhead, and a patient heron striding through the shallows until — zip! — it thrust its beak into the mud for an afternoon snack.
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