Gift from the Big Empty

The sky clouded over before noon which meant that it was probably going to rain at some point. So far it hasn’t, but I saw it falling on the San Juans to the west. I looked at Teddy and thought, “It’s his turn today.” All about fair play here at Casa di Marta, Orsa e Teddolino. I put Teddy’s bug-deterring bandana on him and we drove out to the refuge which, lately, has been more like additional torture.

Today it was a refuge. The sky was overcast, and a cool breeze was coming off the rainy San Juans. For July it could not have been better. Nary a mosquito or deer fly to molest us on our peregrination.

Here’s what I saw when I stepped out of Bella.

Mt. Blanca

There was no need to hurry. No thunderstorm on the offing. No biting bugs to chase us away. Just a perfect day. I’m deeply grateful. I needed it.

The geese are gone. Some of the black birds have gone. All that remain around the pond and in the willow-tree slough are a few red wing blackbirds, tree swallows and lark buntings. But at our half-way point I noticed the slow flap of a large winged bird flying low over the grass. It was a female red tail hawk. She flew low and slow over me to see what my story was. I was so happy to see her that I got tears in my eyes. For some reason, I regard them as friends.

Teddy and I kept going, in absolutely no hurry, savoring the freshness of the day. A car passed us. An old guy kind of waved — I think people are getting disgusted and jaded at this point. Or maybe it’s all the politics. I shrugged. I know what my job is.

“This is great, Martha!”
“Isn’t it, Teddy?”

On our return, I stopped to enjoy the wind and the silence. I was stunned when a mountain blue bird flew past, not 8 inches from my face. I’m sure the wind carried him there, but it made me happy. A lot happens in places like the Big Empty if you just stand still for a while, as the hawk and the bluebird reminded me.

Milkweed in full flower

Thank you everyone for the moral support his morning when I was discouraged about writing my blog during these times when nothing happens (and nothing happening is a good thing…) Every writer wants to write words that are meaningful to those who read them. ❤



28 thoughts on “Gift from the Big Empty

  1. Things always seem better from an outdoor vantage. Teddy and Bear know.

    Aren’t mountain bluebirds the best? Such an amazing color.

    Keep blogging, Martha, however often your muse nudges.

  2. I’m so glad you and Teddy went walking in the Big Empty — and that it was so good for you today. Sometimes a break in nature is just what the ‘doctor’ ordered! You’ve inspired me in a way not expected — we have had cooler weather for the last few days, and I’ve prepared the edge of my fake grass to plant some portulaca (moss rose) in the 6-inch edge — if they come up it will be very colorful and pretty — if not, it was still worth the $5 it cost!

    • My grandma always grew those in a wash basin. I love them. I grew them in Descanso. I should grow them here. They’re so cheerful and pretty.

  3. Wonderful post. So calming…glad you had a bug free day on the Big Empty…we are grey and humid here, so many mosquitoes on our Big Empty walk today.

  4. Oh, that adorable smiling face of little Teddolino…what an absolute cutie! Glad you had a good time, Martha.

  5. That sure looks like Bug Heaven but beautiful all the same. A nature break – especially in your slice of heaven – sounds like it was perfect timing. Glad you are feeling better. Nature can do that. ❤️

  6. The clouds almost make the mountain look like a volcano letting off steam! Teddy appears to be having a great time!! Hope the bugless weather continues and if it does rain it is a cooling one…

    ps I enjoy even the most mundane blogs. I guess it is the voyeur in me!

    • Until yesterday I didn’t appreciate the significance of my little life to others in these times. It was humbling and heart-warming. I’ll keep at it.

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