What can YOU say in six sentences?
The Black-capped Chickadee sat with me every morning at the beach house in Martha's Vineyard, perhaps waiting for food or just curious about the woman in the wicker chair, her scribbling in a journal about how love sometimes dies, how even rocks erode over time.
I opened every drawer, door and cabinet in the house, noted the same ancient smells but never found anything of interest except the books downstairs: Life & Death of the Salt Marsh; Chess Traps, Pitfalls and Swindles; A Field Guide To The Birds; Freedom and Farewell. Then I saw Richard Bach's Jonathan Livingston Seagull and read it for the fifth time while wondering how often this seventy-something believer in soaring and soul mates has fallen out of love.
I skimmed the field guides, identified my feathered morning visitor, learned about deer ticks and lyme disease, about recognizing poison ivy: "Three green leaves, let me be."
It was still too hard to distinguish three leaves together from the dense tangle of green covering the island, and the dreaded deer ticks I might find lounging on grass tips were almost invisible, so I just avoided touching anything natural that wasn't sand, water, rock or tree.
I stayed in the center of every path, kept my children close, checked their bodies at night while thinking about the Brad Paisley tick/love song, who Bach is flying with these days, whether romance is just a light biological breeze or real enough to die like everything else, clumsy enough to get tangled up and lost.