Saturday, March 24, 2007

When Nature Calls

If you’ve spent most of your time living in a city, as I have, you can come to regard nature as something quaint but archaic, like royals or covered wagons. You make plans to visit it on occasion, like the zoo or the library, because it makes you feel like you’ve done something wholesome. You carry it home in pots for your patio. Your knowledge of it may extend to the care and maintenance of St. Augustine grass, weed killer, doggie parks and the produce section of Whole Foods. You might then, in times of stress and exasperation with traffic, noise and crowds, imagine yourself sleeping peacefully out in the country, a cool, clean breeze ruffling through fields of tall grasses before it reaches the curtains of your open window, crickets chirping and birds trilling soothingly in the soundtrack. Guess again.

For the past week or so, our windows have been open to catch the incipient spring breezes and I’ve never startled to more spine chilling sounds. Whatever decidedly non-Disney creatures perform the howls, screeches, screams and wails that pierce the dark of night, other than the consortium of coyotes on the hill behind the house whose howls suggest human sacrifice is being performed, I can’t imagine. The other night I was convinced one the antique dolls I’ve been collecting lately had been activated and was speaking in a Chucky-like voice behind me. But then it came from the window in front of me. I decided not to investigate. In the supposed either/or instincts of fight or flight, mine is to play possum. If I act like I’m not here they won’t see (hear, eat) me.

So it has become more than a luxury for my rattled nerves that our house came with a screened-in porch. It’s been a bit of a hodge-podge of a room but, seized with the nesting instinct that possesses every pregnant woman including, apparently, Mother Nature, I have continued in my nightly and weekend frenzy of potting, planting, and, last night, conscripting the whole family in assembling a complete set of porch furniture. Let the creatures roar. The screen door has a lock. Only the breeze can get in.


Jenni said...


But your porch is very pretty. And I forgot to tell you way back when you changed your blog that I love all the white and the new picture of you. Nice job(s).

Karen Miedrich-Luo said...

book me a room. I'm coming with my butterfly net. Wouldn't hurt to buy a bb gun. Rodents can be temperamental.

allison said...

Did you notice your Thai batik tablecloth in the corner?