Sun Coming to the Orchard
By Elece Hollis
There is shade this morning on the orchard where fog lay heavy last night and through the dawn. As I watch, sunlight falls on the grass and spreads in a stream across it. Rows of trees stand tall working hard to leaf out and flower. These flowers will be our pecans come November. First the flowers and then green hulls and inside them woody shells begin. Inside these a green fluid that will form a pecan nut.
A palliated woodpecker hammers in one of the old oaks along the creek bank. Sun now is so inviting I am tempted to walk out in the pasture where cows are moving slow and silently grazing. Our old white horse quivers and shakes at the first horse flies of the season. Somedays that can make him run and kick and bellow.
The swing hangs still on the porch––a Carolina wren perched on the chain. He will build a nest in the crape myrtle bush and raise another pair of fledglings. I love these perky little wrens with red tail feathers that jut up and down as he moves in and out of the branches.
The irises are beginning to fade. They last such a short time but they are glorious. The peonies are budding the size of shooter marbles. They will be a soft pink with streaks of hot pink running through them. Their heads too heavy to stay upright; they pray with bowed heads that would overjoy a preacher.
Do you hear the doves cooing at the morning? They seem the laziest of birds sauntering under the sycamore tree cooing softly. Never flitting here and there nest building, never swooping and swishing like the barn swallows, never hopping about like robins searching the grass for worms. They seem to love the sound of their own voices. Their song––mellow and sweet––like that of a mother rocking alone after her children are grown, singing the old lullabies to her own heart––remembering.
Today the air will heat up warm and wonderful as toast. We will enjoy sitting outside letting the heat and light soak into our souls refueling us from the long winter. We will stop and smell roses. We will listen to tree frogs singing after a rain and we will pause to hear the cottonwood leaves in the evening wind rustle and rattle a drumbeat.
Nature raises its thousand voices in praise of the Creator. Light, color, rhythm, texture, song; everywhere rising––constantly swaying––a dance. Life.