Thursday, April 22, 2010

Outside My Window

My desk in my home office faces the pasture belonging to a cattle rancher.  In the four years since we moved from California, I've enjoyed watching the new calves' arrive every Spring.  I try hard not to think that these adorable creatures may some day end up as a meal somewhere and keep telling my husband I'm most likely going to end up becoming a vegetarian any day now.  Thank goodness they don't raise chickens, or my protein intake would be next to nothing.

When they're first born, the calves mostly tend to lie on the ground, while the rest of the herd spend their time either grazing or just roaming through the tall emerald grasses.  In the past years, I've watched to see if these little dark "lumps" moved, afraid that they wouldn't make it.  I was always relieved when I'd see a head pop up and the little guys get up on their spindly legs and make their way to the barn.

Today, one little guy was especially close to the fence and consequently my window.  He didn't move much during the day.  As evening approached, I told my husband I was afraid he might be dead.  But then, I saw his head pop up.  Yet still he didn't get up and join the others, who by now had moved to the far end of the pasture back by the barn.  My husband called the rancher to tell him one of the calves didn't look like he would make it back to the barn tonight.  The farmer told him that there was a set of twins born and they are usually weaker.  The rancher would have to wait to let nature take it's course.

Meanwhile, I watced this little guy all alone as the rest of the herd was beyond his reach and ostensibly ignoring him.  Then all of a sudden one sole cow came marching from a distance toward the little calf.  She called to him as she got closer.  When she got up to him, she stroked him with her tongue and he finally stood and began to nurse.  They stood there together for at least fifteen minutes before he lay down again, and I was he was down for the night.  But slowly he rose and rejoined his mother again.

The two of them are walking together now.  Mother and child.  A beautiful sight...outside my window.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Dreamspeak - The Sky is Falling

The beach was cold. The building from which I had exited was within my sights -- an odd building, more like an entrance to some underground structure, than a home. But nevertheless, I knew I lived there.

I sat, fully clothed on a blanket against a retaining wall. The beach stretched out in front of me. The curve of the shore revealed high rise office buildings in the distance, while a large Ferris-wheel dominated the scene.

I wore a headset that fed me my husband, Allan's, voice. He spoke from an aircraft cockpit somewhere overhead. It seemed he was in contact with an Air Terminal trying to find a place to land his aircraft. While cleared to land, he was hesitant as he was doing some reconnaissance over the neighborhood checking out the way our neighbors were maintaining their yards - how typical.

As I listened to this last part of the conversation, I became alarmed that he wouldn't pay attention to the fact that in the distance a plane was falling from the sky. I did not have the ability to tell him what I saw; I could only listen to him.

Others on the beach began to realize what was happening when there appeared a second smoke plume and another plane falling from the sky in the distance. Suddenly a third plane, closer to where I was sitting began to smoke and started its downward spiral. Without further warning, the sky filled with aircraft, as if we had been invaded by aliens whose ships had suddenly lost power and all began to fall to the ground. The sky grew dark and filled with smoke and fire. The planes seemed only a few hundred feet up in the sky.

Where was I the safest? Behind the retaining wall or in my home? I began running in the sand for the structure that represented home. Everyone else seemed to have the same idea. My shoes filled with sand slowing my progress as if I were plowing my way through quicksand. Finally, I fell within feet of the structure that held two elevators full of strangers. I lay on my stomach and reached out for one man's outstretched hand.

Inside my head my voice implored me to wake up. I felt the words trying to escape my lips until finally that effort to make some sound brought me to my darkened bedroom safely next to my sleeping husband. Another disaster averted.