In the winter I found a quiet place just for me on the back porch of my house overlooking the birdfeeder. After work, I'd settle down on the wicker couch with binoculars and a coat. The porch faces west, so I'd have to turn my glance away from the sun as its last rays beamed straight from the horizon and then everything'd go dim. A coldness would creep out as if from under the house. Starlings gathered to roost in bare trees. Somethimes flocks of rogue male robins would invade the yard, having decided not to migrate south this year. I'd shiver there until it was too dark to see clearly, sometimes longer, and I would feel peaceful, waiting obedientlyfor the can of soup which I would heat myself for dinner.
Though it's summer now and things have changed. Vines have climbed onto the porch. Once bare thickets have swollen impenetrable with growth and green and bees and worse. My birdfeeder hangs empty; it is too much trouble in the heat. These birds aren't starving. The buzz of cicadas is louder than cars - and I live in the city! The ground is littered with pears from my tree and each pear has been eaten at by the raccoons and opossums that lurk in the night. A rose thorn clung to my chin as I passed through the trellis yesterday afternoon, just trying to take out the trash. I get home from work and the heat is trapped on my porch and I sit there sweating and staring off into the haze, trying to be quiet.
Trying, I say, because I am not quiet. Those cicadas buzz and my heart races. Mosquitos bite my ankles and forearms. A minute feels like two hours. The grass is too high. Lately, I can't concentrate to read.