What a difference a day makes!
Each morning, rain or shine, winter, spring, summer, fall, I make my window rounds. First the bedroom window, in search of the wandering herd of deer, down the rather steep flight of stairs to the front window, our living painting opening up to me, like the painting at Hogwarts School for Boys and Girls of Potter fame. The dining room, the kitchen, the library. Searching for what has changed overnight; what has past and what is new. There is always something out there to give me pause and be thankful for yet another day.
This morning, my eyes first went to an urn I just planted with caladium and white impatients. The urn is close to the window and I plant it more for us to enjoy from within rather than the passers-by from without. On the bottom of the pedestal something moved. A toad! Timothy Toad! (Okay, I call them all Timothy. It is what it is.) Comfortable in his own skin and unaware of me looking down through panes of glass, Timothy Toad was resting there, soaking in the bright and beautiful morning, probably just as glad for another day as I was.
It was the chipmunk that raised my ire. There was the little dickens rummaging around in my newly planted flower pots, dirt everywhere and plants upended. I rapped on the window and off he flew, onto the ground, a sea of periwinkle sporting the wave as he scurried about, meeting up with his brother, the two of them scampering about like Chip and Dale. My life – one rolling cartoon after another!
It was then, watching a cartoon playing out in the early morning, that I saw it. One lone and garish poppy, orange against all the greens and the purples and pinks, shouting “Hey, I’m here. Anyone notice?” I did, and off I hopped, like all the Timothy Toads, sandals and smile, camera in hand, for you never know how long a poppy will last on a clear and calm day here along the cutoff with chipmunks and deer and who knows what else, my own little kingdom, my own land of Oz.
They now came upon more and more of the big scarlet poppies, and fewer and fewer of the other flowers; and soon they found themselves in the midst of a great meadow of poppies. Now it is well known that when there are many of these flowers together their odor is so powerful that anyone who breathes it falls asleep, and if the sleeper is not carried away from the scent of the flowers, he sleeps on and on forever. But Dorothy did not know this, nor could she get away from the bright red flowers that were everywhere about; so presently her eyes grew heavy and she felt she must sit down to rest and to sleep.
From The Wizard of Oz by Frank Baum
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