Exercise from Method and Madness class studying Alice LePlante's The Making of A Story. The goal - to notice what you notice without trying to explain or interpret it.
Morning time, enjoying sitting out on my back patio, sipping Earl Grey and trying to write, but as usual nature distracts me. Peppermint and lavender waft past in the cool summer breeze, blending with the fragrant steam from my tea. I’m surrounded by the chatter of squirrels and birds, leaves rustling and the hum of traffic off in the distance. A plane passes overhead, leaving a white contrail in the clear, cloudless blue sky.
A hummingbird zips by, comes back and hovers in the air a few feet away from me, chirps good morning. So tiny, she watches me, talks some more before heading over to investigate one of my tabby cats sitting under the laurel bushes. Wings buzzing, she dips up and weaves down, moves ten feet, five feet closer, then more until she is no more than jumping distance from Gracie. She flits back up to the top of the laurels to eat from one of the purple morning glory flowers that winding over the top of my bushes, across the back yard. Hunger satisfied for the moment, she comes back down again to talk to the cat and poops barely missing her. Oh, this one is feisty.
Gracie’s tail swishes, her ears rotate, head following the bird to keep an eye on it. She’s caught them before. Perhaps this is the one I saved a few years back. She’s actually managed to get one. I saw her playing with something on the patio, realized it was a bird. I ran out, grabbed her and made her drop the bird, a hummingbird. I scoop her up and she sits quiet in my hand, trusting that I won’t hurt her.Tiny, iridescent green head, sparkly breast feathers, long thin beak almost as long as her body; miraculously not injured, nothing broken, just stunned.
So delicate and small, yet not so fragile after all. I stroke her, light and gentle and she chirps. She sits quietly in my hand, allows my son to run his finger over her body, talk to her. His face is precious, the awe in his eyes, the fascination in his smile, the joy in his voice as he talks to her. Soon, her little body begins to vibrate, then she tries to fly and lands on the patio table. She rests a few moments, then she’s up and zipping off over the trees – gone.