SITTING BETWEEN A FIELD AND WOODS ON A SUMMER DAY
SITTING BETWEEN A FIELD AND WOODS ON A SUMMER DAY

SITTING BETWEEN A FIELD AND WOODS ON A SUMMER DAY

Recently I had the opportunity to spend an entire day in one location, between a field and some woods, to watch the day unfold around me. This was a time to see what this day would bring and to observe the changes from dawn to dusk. Those changes were mostly quiet and subtle, progressing as the sun appears to move across the sky.

The day started softly with a faint light in the east and the increasing calls of birds. As happens most days, the songbirds provide the first sounds to signal the dawn. The day began to take shape as the light shifted from early dawn to full daylight. It looked to be an interesting and changeable day as several different waves of weather were expected to move over the landscape.

Goldenrod with woods in the background.

The first bit of weather came in the form of fog and mist. The water in the air filtered the growing sunlight and appeared to provide a quieting blanket. The fog and mist held the temperatures in the pleasant range, almost cool enough to want a light jacket or flannel shirt. The coolness would soon pass as the heat from the sun began to burn away the clouds.

Temperature and humidity levels started to rise for a brief time then soft clouds obscured the sun. Birds became more active again as swallows flew past in search of insects and crows cried out as they flapped their wings overhead. Cardinals and a red-tailed hawk also flew through looking for food. Birds are interesting to watch and the diversity of birds throughout the year can provide some clues about the health of the local ecosystem.

A soft rain came through in the afternoon, obscuring the long-range view of the valley in front of me. Although thunder began to threaten, a heavy storm never appears and the rain passes in a short time. Blue sky and puffy clouds take the place of the rain, but the sun is now low enough in the sky that the heat and humidity do not return. Instead, dusk begins to reduce the available light and prepares the landscape for night.

The lessons of an entire day in one place depend a great deal on our willingness to reflect on the changes around us, and within us. From watching the birds we can learn about flexibility and taking the opportunities that are presented. As fog, mist, and rain trades places with blue sky and soft clouds we can see that both are needed for vegetative growth just as we need good times and bad to grow ourselves. Dawn and dusk provide cycles of the day just as we cycle through different times in our lives. Lessons are all around us if we allow ourselves to be open to what we can learn.