Finally I get to sit outside in my lanai with my laptop and my Muse. The temperature out here today at almost 1.30pm registers seventy seven degrees Fahrenheit. It was already seventy one degrees at about 11am this morning:-). I was able to enjoy sitting out here in the warmth, with the birds singing and eating greedily from the feeders in the yard, the breeze sighing gently through the pine trees, and truly appreciate my quiet time.
That done, I prepared my breakfast and brought it out here. Because it is Sunday my husband is home with me, and he too made some breakfast and came out to join me in the lanai. It is such a simple thing, a husband and a wife sitting and quietly enjoying breakfast together in the open air, but it brings me much joy.
I am happy!! There is nothing I enjoy more than to be out in God’s creation, breathing in the fresh air and watching His creatures in their natural habitat. My head seems much clearer. Not sure what it is with artificially controlled air, whether it be winter heating or summer air conditioning, but I do not feel right in my head when I am forced to breath in that kind of air on a regular basis.
The sun has been shining on and off all morning. But even now, with gray clouds obscuring the sun, the underlying feeling is one of natural warmth and life. I can even smell the warmth in the air. Real oxygen energizes me in a way that nothing else does and the warmth makes my body feel alive, open, and at the same time, comforted. I could just sit outside and experience this all day, every day, and feel totally content. I guess I am a very simple person at heart.
Yesterday I added a new bird feeder to the garden. This morning it was swarming with birds. A short while ago my husband put up another hook and we added yet one more feeder. The little guys have yet to discover it, but I’m sure it won’t take them long. And as I watch them, a black butterfly with bright markings flutters outside the lanai screening as though trying to enter: good morning Mamma:-)
And in the meantime, Mokka cat is also enjoying the gift of this wonderful day. She is lounging luxuriously on top of the storage chest here in the lanai, basking in the sun’s warmth. Her tail is swishing slowly from side to side as she watches the bird activity outside the lanai. From time to time her nose or an ear twitches, and I am wondering what is going on in her cat brain.
There is nothing exotic or grandiose about all this, and that is the true beauty contained therein. I do not need riches or an extravagant lifestyle nor do I need to be surrounded by material wealth in order to feel rich. I just need a day like today and the undeniable gift of being able to enjoy it.
We came to Florida in January 2004 and we have just experienced the longest freezing cold weather since arriving here. The thermometer on my sheltered back porch lanai registered thirty one degrees Fahrenheit at about 7.30am on several mornings. It did not get above fifty eight degrees Fahrenheit at any time during the day.
Half of the trees, bushes and plants in my garden have been badly frost burned. I am hoping that their roots have not been damaged and that there will be re-growth. Thankfully I had covered the precious small lemon tree that my son Marco had bought me on a visit a few years ago and also my queen palm with some old flannel sheets. However, it was not possible to cover everything in the garden.
But other damage was incurred that I did not really notice until the warm weather suddenly returned three days ago. Regular readers all know that I had griped about the cold and the fact that I had been unable to get out into the lanai with my lap-top to do my writing. I even referred to myself as being imprisoned by the wretched cold!
However, in my posting Musings- Prisoner of the Cold I explained how I had beaten the cold at its own game and managed to write an article. I felt very good about that and pleased that I had been able to “invite the Muse out to play”. Feeling the creative juices flowing is so satisfying to me. But there followed more days of nothing followed by a trip out of town for a few days.
Then I got up on Tuesday morning this week and noticed immediately the difference in the temperature inside the house. At the same time I noticed that the heating wasn’t running – Alleluia!! I almost ran to the back door to check out the thermometer. Holy mackerel – fifty nine degrees Fahrenheit at 8am!!! I turned off the house alarm and opened the lanai door; no blast of cold. I stepped outside and felt warm – in my jammies!! Oh joy!
I quickly prepared my juice and grains, gathered my meditation books from the kitchen, and headed outside. The birds were swooping over the fence and some were already at the feeder. Two squirrels were on the grass under the feeder happily munching on the spill-over. I stood and took in a deep breath as far down into the bottom of my lungs as I could get it to go. It was real fresh air and it was quite warm, thank you very much:-).
In that moment I suddenly felt “open”. My chest was expanded. My shoulders were thrown back. My face was lifted upwards. I raised my arms above my head as far as I could reach in a big stretch. I went up on my tippy-toes. I felt magnificently alive for the first time in about ten days. Even my heart felt happy.
In that moment it registered with me that I had been totally closed up during the period of freezing cold. I looked back and realized that I had been in a “hunched-up” position against the cold. My shoulders had been hunched forward. My arms had, for a lot of that time, been wrapped around me. And that was just when I was indoors!! When I went outside I was always bundled up in heavy clothing and huddled up against the cold.
All my energy had gone into dealing with the cold and I had been “closed”. I too had suffered a “frost burn” of my own! No wonder the creative juices had been unable to flow. I had been on physical and creative lock-down for about ten days; kind of under my own “old flannel sheets”. Please God the warmth will remain and I will get to play with the Muse on a daily basis.