I have been staring out the window, seeing nothing but brown, brown, brown. Its winter and there is no snow. The sky can be a soaring blue, but it can all be a dismal gray that sits right on top of the trees and pushes down slightly.
I am embarrassed how long it took me to really see that cardinals. I mean, we greet them every day, and it’s so fun to spot the cardinal in the spruce tree — a plugged-in, glowing red hidden in a mass of droopy matte green. It always makes the heart beat a little faster.
But how long did I stare at photos of tropical birds, or sketch birds at the zoo? How did I miss the bird on my feeder, sorting through the seeds until it found the right ones?
Once I stitched him onto the cloth, my needle slowed to a stop. I couldn’t think of anything to stitch next — I could only see the cardinal. I will let him sit and get comfortable for a while, and see if anything else comes wandering by.
I spent the last week in and around Glacier National Park in Montana. Spring mountain weather being what it is, there was a lot of rain on the western side of the mountains. We could see, very clearly, how the mountains caught the clouds and there they would sit until they had dropped enough rain to make it up and over the peaks. Cresting the Continental Divide, we would very quickly emerge from the clouds and into open blue skies. But where we sat, or hiked, on the West side was always covered by clouds. We could get glimpses of snowfields and rock faces, but then they would disappear again while another mountain peaked out.
All this sitting under the clouds got me a little gloomy. But then the summer solstice came. And I spent it under the clouds. Even through I knew it was the longest day of the year, it felt like the big skies of Montana were pressing down on us. And it seemed so mystical to me that the was a bright blue sky with hours and hours of sunlight up there, I just couldn’t see it right now. It raised me spirits and felt a lot like hope — knowing it was there was enough.
I did a lot of stitching on the porch of our cabin, reflecting on the unseen sun and listening to the evening rain.