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  • Writer's pictureMj Pettengill

Twilight: This Time Upon Us

Trees, Twilight, Magic, Girl, CCO
Trees, Twilight, Magic, Girl, CCO

There are a handful of things in this world, okay, at least a truckload of things that provide immense joy. As I frequently mention, being aligned with cycles and seasons is a vital element of well-being.

Now that the black bear has returned, I am back into the cycle of bringing the bird feeders in and out. This seems like a daunting task, but it is necessary if I wish to continue feeding the birds and little furries, such as squirrels—reds and gray—and chippies. Unlike most folks, I purposely feed them. (I have compassion for mothers who have hungry mouths back in the nest.) And besides, most of us are friends on a first-name basis. I mean, they're living beings. There is scrumptious food out there. Why would I get tangled up in the endless battle of shooing them away? It's crazy. Einstein would back me up on this. 

It is also the time when the migrating birds—grosbeaks, indigo buntings, and orioles, to name a few—visit on their way through. So, yes, it is about them, but it's about me too. At least I confess that this is not only a practice geared towards the creatures, but I also get a great deal of pleasure from observing them.

Two days ago, at twilight, and when the rains came, I was outside gathering the feeders. I will admit that, like others, I am trying to gently sift through feelings related to our new world amidst the pandemic. Some days are more fluid than others. I find that emotions not carefully processed, manage to somehow manifest. This, as many of you know, is the human way.

As I stood out in the damp onset of evening, suddenly, the world around me was filled with echoes of a lone hermit thrush. Because of my connection to cycles and seasons, I knew that this time was upon us. 

A surge of hope flooded my heart. I stood in the field, surrounded by trees. Then, more than one joined the chorale. I gasped for air. The tears that emerged had been trapped and were in much need of escape. What was behind the tears? I couldn't comprehend if they were tears of joy, relief, sorrow and grief, or regret. What a mess I had become.

A bit wobbly, I took a seat on one of my familiar sitting rocks. I wasn't sure of anything, only that the haunting, melodious song seemed to be more potent than in the past. Once I caught my breath, I found it to be necessary to unpack. Oh, how I wanted to simply enjoy it, but I had come undone.

The joy was pure. I understood that. The relief is that in the middle of such drastic change in the world, this remains. The sorrow? I have not entirely figured that out. That and grief, directly related, were the most challenging, the feeling of many losses that are still being realized. The new, positive outcome is still in the making. We are here, in that somewhat uncomfortable place, awaiting rebirth. What did I regret? I am still working on it. Perhaps there is regret in feeling that there was not enough time to love all of what I love—not in the way that I know. 

Then, I did something that I often do. I tried to capture it. The wind was picking up as was the rainfall. I aimed my phone at the daffodils that were quickly disappearing into the oncoming veil of darkness and hit record. Why I do that is still another puzzle. I heard a gunshot in the distance, shaking me out of the trance. I could not understand it and lacked the desire, time, and valuable energy to figure it out. To me, it felt wrong and brought about an unwelcomed pause.

In less than a minute, the aria resumed, and my breathing had returned to normal. I was ready to accept the song of the hermit thrush as a gift, a reminder of that which remains. Without so many conflicting emotions, I was free to rejoice. Acknowledging and then dismissing the melancholy, I allowed the identifiable tears of joy to roll down my cheeks.

In gratitude, I gathered up my bucket of feeders and returned to the house. Something beautiful, bold, reliable, and steady had returned. Now, when I go out in the early morning and just before sunset, they accompany me. They are the hope that swirls about, bringing reassurance and peace. 

In Lak'ech Ala K'in: I am another you.


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