A Song For Summertime

“Once upon a time, when women were birds, there was the simple understanding that to sing at dawn and to sing at dusk was to heal the world through joy. The birds still remember what we have forgotten, that the world is meant to be celebrated.”  — Terry Tempest Williams


A row of avocado trees that flanks the backside of the coop area.


We are officially into summertime now, and this time of year the living is pretty easy – and beautiful. I don’t know about the fishes, but everything else seems to be jumpin’.

Fluffy baby butts drive us nuts

Our third batch of chicks for the season has started making their peeping debut out from under the cozy protection of momma. We see four so far, and they are 1-3 days old. We’re calling these babies the Live Oak bunch since they started hatching during the local music festival of the same name, that took place over the weekend.

As I did my morning walk back down the road from the coops today, I heard a radio playing softly up in a grove of trees off to my left. Slow and sonorous, lyrics in Spanish, the clattering of metal picking ladders punctuating the music – a harvest crew hard at work.

The ranch we are situated on also hosts acres and acres of orange and avocado trees. The crew has been here the last several days, picking avocados. Perhaps these men look as exactly as one might expect: lean, frenetic, of Hispanic origin, new to the country, removed somehow.

This crew has been out on other occasions and I am always very curious about them. I wonder what their lives are like. I wonder if they’re treated fairly in exchange for their hard work. I wonder what they think about the atrocities taking place with asylum seekers at the border right now.

I try not to assume and project, but I’ve lived in California my whole life and I am no stranger to the injustices surrounding migrant farm workers. I wave when we cross paths, and I have shared eggs with them on occasion, but I mostly just feel our divide. It seems we are largely in two different worlds and I want theirs to be okay.

Contemplating these thoughts once again, as I moved along the road this morning, a voice brought me right back into the moment. It was the beautiful voice of one of the workers, singing along to the radio in the trees. I slowed my pace and listened as the man followed the song to its close, carrying the melody beautifully and with real heart. As I rounded the last turn that takes me past the hay barn, I felt my eyes well and my throat throb. The world is indeed meant to be celebrated, and I received the gift of a song at dawn to remind me. As the last few notes faded behind me, I carried my grateful heart the rest of the way home.

Life is good.


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