Sunday Gratitude: The Way Life Is

Troll Bridge, College Pond

For the first time since moving back to the US seven years ago, the Owls did not travel for Labor Day weekend. There’s no one reason for it; it’s a combination of a change of plans for our friend we usually visit in Maine, the fact that the Owl’s parents are in town from away, and the Owlets having high school soccer.Also, in one of the silver linings of hte pandemic, we have new appreciation and gratitude for the place where we live.

Early Saturday morning, I was awoken by a restless dog, and then lay sleepless with windows open to the end of summer night sounds. And was rewarded with the call of one barred owl to another: “Who cooks for you?” one questioned, and the other answered. A pause and then again a call and answer. I will say I never once heard an owl where we lived in São Paulo, though to be fair I was often awoken by wild periquitos in gangs of green. Trust me when I say that Owl voices are better. Owls rule. Obviously 😉

Daybreak brought an early walk in Jericho Town Forest, one of Weston’s greatest gifts. I parked along Concord, and walked the sidewalk to the trail entrance–on the left side of the road, the “potato field” in rows of farmed greens, on the right side, the orchard filled with apple green and red. Ostensibly I was out to look at how the newish beaver bridge survived the recent rainstorm (it was secure and unharmed0 but in reality, I just wanted to be in the woods. We are coming into the best season of the Weston conservation lands–soon enough, the yellow birches and the Merriam sugar maples will put on their autumn clothes. And then good luck finding the Owl behind a computer.

Later, as I walked with my mom up to the amazing Proctor Field at the high school to watch the ‘cats take on the Maynard Tigers, my mom reminded me what a little paradise our high school campus is. One does forget to appreciate it–the little bridge from the parking lots, a trail along an effusive perennial garden (nice work, Melissa), tennis courts filling with community members, and that pond., reflecting blue skies and shady trees. It’s incredible, Weston, that our little town has such a campus.

The varsity ‘cats did not have a great first game (the JV ‘cats fared better). The Owls switched to the visitor side, not in an effort to hide who we were cheering for, but because the sun was better for us on the east side. And while looking out on the fantastic field and campus, the Owl got to appreciating the fact that in the stands opposite she recognized friends also home for the weekend, and next to us on the visitor side were members of the girls soccer team cheering on the boys, and that her 80 year-old parents were willing and able to sit on silver metal stands on a sunny summer day.

Maine has one thing wrong. it’s not the way life should be, it’s the way life is, and it’s really good.

Enjoy the weekend, Weston. Love where you are.

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