Home ~ An Elusive Sense

An elusive sense that something was different caused me to take notice. 

In fact, it was just after the James Taylor bridge where we had turned toward the city, that a distant place inside me seemed to wake up.  My mind whispered long forgotten memories of a place I had once called home.  

sunlight, sky, branches, clouds

“You’ll have problems no matter where you go,” my former landlord remarked, after I told him I was moving. 

We were standing by the entrance to my front deck, beside the septic tank, where sewage was overflowing on the ground.  I held my tongue.  That particular problem wouldn’t be moving with me, I thought to myself.

We don’t have septic tanks in my new place. 

We do however have a history of flooding, so in a way, I guess the landlord was right.

Still, you gotta choose your battles in life, and I guess, the problems you’re willing to endure.

The street lights wake me up at strange hours of the morning.  I’ve been too busy to stop, unpack or put curtains on my windows. 

Pieces of me are in boxes, bills and various important documents spread across my floor.

I’ve yearned for the dark nights and shadows of trees.  They were my trees.  I especially miss the birds that lived among them. 

I felt I abandoned the birds, and in a way I did.   To tell why would take a lot of writing and it might be as hard to write, as it was to live.

There’s a big, puffed up and confident Mockingbird living in my new yard.  This bird rules the bird station.

mockingbird beautiful

The eager territorial bird has communicated its high status to all the feathered ones (except for the hawk).  They believe this Mockingbird too.  Even the large loud Bluejay gives the pretty white and grey bird the space it demands. 

I wonder what this means.  I wonder if the Mockingbird has something to say to me and if so, then what could it be?

One day, I’ll look back, I hope, and recall the beauty bestowed so freely in those woods where I lived.  I know I’ll remember the trees and beautiful moss that bloomed in springtime.  I’ll especially recall that the land and the wild ones that lived there was the place where Mother Nature penetrated my spirit.  

I’ll recall too the nights when after a day of chasing butterflies, and later watching birds,  the color of nature flooded my mind.

I have a new friend.  He’s an elder with great tales of sailing across the waters of Maine.  He reads me poetry and knows all the great literature!  We sit in his kitchen drinking instant, but good coffee.  On occasion, he calls to recite Shakespeare. 

Below, is the first poem he shared during our first visit together.

“Hope is the thing with feathers

That perches in the soul

And sings the tune without the words

And never stops at all.

And sweetest in the gale is heard;

And sore must be the storm

That could abash the little bird

That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land

And on the strangest sea,

Yet never, in extremity,

It asked a crumb of me.”

Emily Dickinson

Ruthie Mae likes our new home.   She has a furry neighbor friend named Happy.

Amazingly, there are as many birds here as in my wooded yard.  

I haven’t seen the beloved Mourning Dove, but we have a pond that’s home to a Great Blue Heron.  I dreamed of this bird two nights before I moved here.  I had seen it swoop down close to me, then powerfully and gracefully, back up again it flew. 

Upon waking, I heard the spirit of the bird say it would carry me to my new home.

Astonishingly, I worked without pain during the rest of my move, even while sleeping on a hard bamboo floor.

A Red-shouldered hawk lives here too.  Every tenant I’ve met mentions the hawk.  It perches not too far from my door on low branches of trees by the creek.

hawk is our neighborhood friend

Keeping an eye on things

I live by water, with birds.  I like that.  The mail carrier wears a postal suit (including the hat), like olden times.  I like that too.

The locals hold the vibe of this city’s heart.  That’s what felt different after we crossed the bridge on moving day.  I remembered the heartbeat of the people here, and I felt it run through me. 

I am glad to be home, again.

Thanks for visiting my blog, dogkisses, and please feel free to leave me your comments.

14 responses to this post.

  1. I am so pleased you are settling in Michelle, and I am loving the Ruthie is loving it too.. And you are making new friends with wild life.. Sending you a big Hug your way. xxx Love Sue xxx



    • Hi Sue, Thanks for your welcoming 🙂

      Ruthie and I have a great trail to walk on. I look forward to more nice springtime days. I saw birds in my yard this past week that I’ve never seen before. Big birds! They must live by water. I also learned that the big tree with white bark at the top, which is pretty, is a Sycamore. It lives by the creek.

      Sending hugs to you too! Lots of those today :)xoxo



      • Thats really nice to know… I know you will both be fine in your new home and area… You should look up the meaning of a Sycamore tree 🙂 you may like what you find 🙂 xxx

        Liked by 1 person


        • wow! Now I’m reading about that tree, which I have lovely photos of, and will share soon. I did read about the medicinal value, but hadn’t read anything about it’s symbolism. How very interesting! I’ll tell you what I learn. Thanks for mentioning this. hugs2u…xoxo



        • Sue, I wish I knew how to post a photo here, but I enjoyed reading about the Sycamore, and visiting mine again. Also, my son told me he knew of a tree he wanted to show me, so we went for a walk. His tree was also a Sycamore, down at the other end of the creek! There are only two big ones I’ve seen so far. We were both taken by these trees, so to speak 😉

          Keeping my sights still on my campaign goal, and a happy Ruthie girl. I could swear she has been happier since I wrote this post, but am not sure why. I told her it was because people were thinking of her, even way across the ocean. Your readers made nice comments and showed care. So, thank you for your thoughts and for sharing as well.

          Your friend, with Love,



          • Big smiles about both your Sycamore trees.. 🙂 Nature has a way of pulling you close. And Ruthie knows everything is going to be al-right so is a Happy Doggie!…
            You are welcome and I know other friends of mine on WP have shared your story on Twitter and Google. So many will be sending their thoughts which will pull in good vibrations … Love and Healing.. xx Sue xx



  2. I understand missing the birds. When a huge wind storm knocked out our 100-year-old cedar two years ago, we lost our roost for the flocks of parrots that visited daily.Some people hate their raucous laughter, but I always found it so amazing. We do have a fountain in the backyard, so we have a steady stream of visitors each morning. The hummingbirds go first, then the finches. The blue jay is last. They literally line up.
    As for your mocking bird, I’d love to think it’s sending you a sweet welcome, but the one in our alley is so “vocal” because he’s trying to find a mate. It IS spring! 🙂 So I wish you a welcome to the city. We’re in a huge urban metropolitan area, but I’ve never seen so much wildlife anywhere. 🙂



    • Hi Jan,

      Thanks for the city welcome! I too have never seen so much wildlife! I guess because we live by a creek, with a pond, and in a flood zone, the latter of which kind of defines the place. One thing I’ve noticed about living in town, aside from the awesome wild things, is that there are many sounds that tell me the time of day. Birds, but also delivery trucks, and every day at 12:20am, the US Postal Service delivers mail. I love most the sound of the Owl, just after sunset.

      I hope you are doing well. I haven’t had the mental energy to keep up with blogs, even my own, but this year, I have a goal to start writing more.

      Hope to see more of you in the blogosphere. Take good care!


      PS I can’t imagine Parrots visiting, but I think I would like that too! And also, that Mockingbird has found a mate, so it comes once in a while, gets upset that so many other birds are here, then the mate comes, then all is quiet again 🙂



  3. sounds like you’ve found a home; I think you can make a place home wherever you go. That’s a special talent. The mockingbird is saying “Make your ground, your ground.”



    • Yes, I have.

      Make your ground! I love it!

      I still miss my birds! dang, I don’t know if I’ll ever really get used to the city. I will probably return to some wooded area in 2015.

      Taking a break from driving is good and being close to my son is nice. Still, I am not sure I’m a city girl, phy. Ruthie likes her neighbors, so that’s good.

      There’s a flock of birds outside right now and I have no clue what they are! Not one clue! They are black, bigger than Robins, with gold on their wings. How strange.

      I need to write more in my blog. Life happens so fast here I can’t finish a draft before something I’m writing has changed! So weird.

      Sending you love, my friend, and that, “thing with feathers that perches in the soul.” (E.D.)



      • Perhaps more birds with a message for you — they seem to be your guardians, guides, and inspiration. They’re teaching you how to fly!



        • I still have those urls to send your way! This weekend is the Great Backyard Bird Count (do a search and you’ll find it). The idea is to count the birds you see in your yard, or on a walk, in a park, etc. It’s a great family activity as well as something you can just sitting by your window. Hope you are able to participate!
          Cheers! (And, there is another great site all about urban birds — all under the Cornell Lab of ornithology. The urban bird project is running a contest about signs of spring. Submissions can be photos, poems, dances, artwork, videos, etc. I thought of you and your new environment.)



          • I’m going to check out the urban bird project. I bet that’s where the photo contest is. I didn’t record bird count today, but it isn’t over yet, so maybe I will. I’m still trying to get furniture arranged. I seem to be a little obsessed with it! I just want my home to be organized so I can find things.

            Let me know if you are recording your birds. I’ll try (really try) to come visit your blog soon to see what you are posting.

            Thank you for thinking of me, phylor. I really appreciate that. You have a very kind heart and I’m lucky to know you.

            With love and good wishes,
            Michelle, and Ruthie Mae.



            • http://gbbc.birdcount.org/ takes you to the Great Backyard Bird Count, and they are running a photo contest too.
              We’re in project feeder watch again this year, so we count our backyard birds every Saturday and Sunday during the project months. And, I may have mentioned that we write down every day what kinds of birds come into the yard. This year is a bit different: more white-throated sparrows (native) than house sparrows (introduced from England), fewer juncos, house finches and woodpeckers, but more song sparrows, overwintering goldfinch, 2 hawks, (one sees our yard as a snack bar), towhee, fox sparrow, fish crows, etc.
              For the GBBC: white throat, song, and house sparrows, gold finches, starlings, mourning doves, cardinals (pair), juncos, and . . . (too lazy to get up and get the list!)
              I hope you get your place organized. I know how frustrating it is when I can’t find things.
              Hope you get settled soon on your new ground.


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