Birds chirping in such voluminous quantity that they sound like rushing waters, a veritable cascade, waterfall of sound. Hundreds of them clustered in two oak trees across the street, the trees alive with song.
A small woodpecker tap-tap-taps his way to dinner above my head. I have my hands in dirt, holding the rhizomes of lilies—daylilies, oriental lilies, who-knows-what lilies. I hold in my hands life, the life of a plant. They are tired, crowded and none of them bloomed this year. It was too hot too soon for me to do any work of significance in the garden. Now it is fall, and almost too hot but not quite, so I am forking them up from the ground where they have grown together so densely I can barely insert the fork, to separate them from one another and give them a chance at new flowering life next year in my daughter’s garden.
Blithely, I tear them apart, thumping them on the brick walkway to shake loose the dirt. This does not hurt them; instead it stimulates them to grow, to make leaves to drink in the sunshine that will give them the power to bloom. Ah, the sexuality of plants! Make love to the sun and give birth to flowers.