Finding a gentle, loving space
in Sunday worship,
I unexpectedly
can’t stop weeping.
There are good reasons,
once I begin to think about it:
recent losses and sufferings
for people I love.

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In the afternoon,
the air is warm,
the breeze soft and barely cool,
birds are singing,
greening is
everywhere.
It is an exquisite
beauty of a day,
so rich,
it requires
nibbling.
So I spend the day,
ingesting a little at a time
this scrumptious beauty.

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My Sit Spot
is on the porch
under the big old Hackberry.
Soon I notice
two Red-Bellied Woodpeckers
courting.
They chase each other
along tree branches,
flying,
fluttering head to head,
singing their throaty “whirr.”
Meanwhile,
another Woodpecker
pecks a hole in the Hackberry.
It’s excavating wood
on a thick branch,
making a hole
the size of itself,
and a few babes.
I watch it disappear into the hole,
its tail feathers barely sticking out
as it enters,
to excavate deeper,
then pop out,
shaking its head,
wood chips flying.
Sometimes when it goes in,
it turns around
and sticks its head out
to spit out the wood chips.

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Red-Winged Blackbirds,
sitting in the Hackberry
and other nearby trees,
sing loudly
as Woodpecker works
constantly,
all afternoon.
Another Woodpecker comes to vist
sometimes
and they hop up the limb together.
I don’t know
if this is the courting
Woodpecker couple
or another couple.
Dove couples
and Yellow-Headed Blackbird couples
and Harris Sparrow couples
sail by,
courting too.
The Barn Swallows fly in and out of the barn,
where they are building nests.
A Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
whirrs up to a nearby branch,
then to the feeder,
its green and red feathers
shining in the sun.
When Mockingbird
comes close and starts to sing
I’m not sure my heart can take
so much beauty.
I sit tight,
watching,
watching,
breathing,
breathing
into this rich diet.
Excruciating as it is,
I need
to help my heart entrain
to this exquisite beauty.

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