under soft pewter feathers

Last night I awoke at four-thirty, confused by the glow outside the curtains. Through the windows came the steady sounds of much water arriving quickly on our roof and in our yard. Though I’ve been enjoying all the sunny weather we’ve had lately, I’ve also been somewhat suspicious of it. Too much fair weather and the land will be thirsty come July. This relentless, torrential rain is most welcome. I’m seated between our orange, crackling fireplace and the sodden gray scene out the window, our aged cat on my lap.  Miss Heidi Pudding Pie has gotten very elderly this winter. Once rotund, she now feels tiny and bony with old-cat fur. She spends most of her days on the couch (no change here) and we’ve been sitting there often, as she appears on a lap within seconds of its arrival and clings fast. A wrap baby carrier has been in our conversations lately so we could keep her with us while tending to areas of life afield from the couch.

There is a quiet restfulness to rainy days like these. Certainly, coworkers were discussing napping and books, warm beverages and home. The rain is quieting but not quiet, calming but not still. The sheets of droplets flickering before the trees and the wet patter are continuous. Inside, the fire softly rumbles, causing us to occasionally mistake it for thunder, in a cozy way.

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Friday was another gull day, in a sense. We met “Gulliver” at Witty’s Lagoon and brought him to the SPCA’s Wild Arc, luckily not too far away. What happened is this: we brought a picnic down to the beach and had just settled against some bleached driftwood logs, bare toes in warm sand (and sand fleas hopping happily about- weird but harmless), when we saw a dog running at the gulls on a sandbar. One gull stayed put. We watched it flap awkwardly then hunker down. The confused dog sniffed at it then backed off. Strengthened by an excellent chocolate almond croissant, Jer went to see if it was okay. I half expected to see him get attacked by a seagull but moments later he was walking towards me, gently holding a juvenile gull in front of him. The bird sat quietly, surprisingly calm (or as we later learned, weak), watching us with big lash-fringed dark eyes, broken wing held slightly askew. Jer had called Wild Arc before even checking the bird out, so we had a plan. He carried Gulliver all the way out of the park, across the marshy area, through the forest and up past the waterfall where white fawn lilies were blooming. Gulliver took it all in quietly, even the concerned and curious strangers and the dark trees. In the car, I sat with Gulliver on my lap, tucked under a cloth, his/her form light and warm under soft pewter feathers. At the center, Gulliver was whisked away to be cared for. We didn’t take his/her case number so we won’t know how it went, but hopefully this sweet little gull is back out on the beach soon. Ironically, just the evening before, a bad day for Jer was accentuated by a gull (we think) dropping the kind of gift gulls are best at down the back of his blue shirt. This resulted in jokingly cursing gulls that evening with friends, but it’s nice to see that he doesn’t hold a grudge. I think we both like gulls better since having met Gulliver.  Outside our window now, the seagulls are holding court in the soggy field and flying around like it’s not even raining.

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