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Morning after a rain,
thunderstorm—
lots of lightning
and thunder—
the kind that made my grandmother
feel better
about life.
There are pressing tasks,
expectations
pressing on my chest.
Something beyond me
causes me to stop
and take in
the washing
of the land,
the finally-greening land;
the soft air,
soft drips
off the porch roof.
For a little while,
I lay aside my yearning for more
human connection
and commit
to sit and take this in
as long and as deeply
as I can stand.
I hear, gladly, “Bob White”
from quail absent
for years.
There is sweet birdsong in the air.
Chickens are clucking at the gate.
A woodpecker,
a different one,
faster,
hammers into a tree.
Dove croaks,
then, a moment later, coos.
Hummingbirds whir
and Barnswallows zip,
flashing that shiny red neck
and those blue-gray wings.
The alpaca pasture is lush now
and the three paca boys breakfast
elegantly.
It probably doesn’t get any better than this.
There will be moments of human connection
again
but—like all moments,
human and otherwise,
in the connection,
in the deep resonance of life and meaning—
it probably doesn’t get any better
than this.

When, shortly before her death,
I asked my elderly grandmother,
who made daily notes
in the nature journal she kept
on the table beneath the kitchen window,
if she’d “figured it out”
(life, that is,)
she replied,
no.
And when I said,
“I think you would have by now,”
she replied,
“Well, you might not.”

In the morning’s sweet birdsong,
in the soft dripping
on the thunder-drenched land,
a glimmer now…
Perhaps Grandma knew
what I wouldn’t have understood
if she’d said it then,
even in one of our moments of deep
connection,
resonance:
it doesn’t get any better than this.