|at Rio Celeste|
I love the frigate birds whose easy grace on cliffside, seaside air belie their silhouettes so sharp and weapon-ish.
The gaudiness of honey creepers, tanagers, and colibri, fierce feathers flashing like they're made of molten metal.
I love the din of howler monkeys that hootfully proclaim a sprawling forest valley as their own.
I love to take an unknown twisting road through woods and farms and dusty villages,
To stop at some dark and shaded soda for beans and rice and icy fruit refresco.
To have my sons along so some of this weaves into who they are and will become.
the cold so bitingly mad that wind-tossed branches clack together as metal rods.
the mist-drizzle needles' subcutaneous dance in the blood-heat of my cheeks.
the gray, wet, chill air, which can be snatched away like a magician-scarf to shock me into knowing light and sun-warmth.
the arrogance of chickadees and tufted titmice - tiny, feathered, fearless, dinosaurian.
the skepticism of cats.
how Irish stout will not be rushed - whose churn from foamy brown to velvet black forces one to wait and contemplate.
I love the victory of laughter over shyness.
I love that moment when a friend averts their eyes - to gather the threads of the story they intend to tell - and we lean in to catch it.
the resonance of raindrops doinking gently on my black and broad-brimmed Amish hat.
I love that toads live in our cellar - warty house guards who take crickets and bring good luck - or so I'm happy to believe.
the eight-eyed spiders who stalk prey in high corners and leave no cobweb behind. Jumping spiders - too quick - I love their way of moving - jerky little teleports.
I love the sunbeam that re-makes a room to a sudden work of art.
my wife's drowsy, feline pleasure in the warmth of slanting sunshine.
I love a joke well-told.
I love the solving of a riddle, that moment when the rigid, false facade collapses and an unexpected figure strides smiling forth.
the migration of birds
the orioles squabbling in Costa Rican palms while juncos forfeit their taiga to claim these rich south woods of winter.
the dormancy of things that stay - creatures burrowed deep to sleep.
the fierce biding of stemless roots and leafless twigs.
the genius of a queen bee, hot within her cluster, sipping summer's honey.
|Bushy Beard lichen - Usnea strigosa|
its acceptance and resistance to all the twists of use,
this wisdom, which old leather has accrued.
cotton, worn to ghostly softness, before the fibers part.
I love that scientists admitted umami, a savory fifth taste upon the tongue alongside sweet, bitter, sour, salt.
I love the clumsiness of talk of tastes and flavors,
a language to be made that we've not made yet,
but which Monica speaks so wordlessly.
I love the collaboration of ink and pen and paper.
I love the heft of leather-bound journal
when it's time to trek and travel.
I love maps,
and a journal that is a cartography of living
an inked approximation of place - moment - memory.
and empty pages
that are as smooth as possibility.
I love a breakfast of sourdough bread, warm and with butter,
and black, black coffee.
I love how sunlight ricochets from icicles,
how snow etches itself upon the twisty trunks of sassafras.
I love our winter wren whose summer song bursts out in delusion or denial,
the noisy jays of winter, who'll go quiet as the summer nears,
their sudden alarms that scatter other birds like shrapnel.
I love words.
These baskets woven of sound - these containers for some nugget that we have cut from the stream of our thinking.
We click and hiss and hammer the air and another brain catches our thoughts.
I love the murmur of a place where people gather - air vibrating as these woven baskets and their cargoes of meanings move among minds.
I love that humans play with this elaborately crazy adaptation - we joke, we sing, we pun.
I love to travel to places visited long ago.
To see the peaks of Olympus rising above the Puget Sound and think, "Oh, I'd forgotten how they loom over the city in light like this."
To see old friends who are sudden years farther down their paths and have them see me.
To replace memories that are tattered, blurred and incomplete, with new ones.
I love when memories of place get crossed - the drizzle of Seattle so exactly like the soft rain of Cork.
I love to travel to places new. In Costa Rica, there is a place upon the skirt of a volcano where a little seam of white turns a river an opalescent blue.
And markets where the fruit is strange and the seller must explain what parts to eat - tomate de palo, cas, manzana de agua, rambutan . . .