Informants

From our back porch, I look north and west. A cardinal stabs the silence with its sharp staccato song, and its red frame sits on the dark green leaves of the oak tree like a Christmas ornament. The oaks across the fairway slowly betray the sun’s arrival. It’s almost as if they wink at me as their trunks and leaves’ undersides turn golden brown. If I turned around, the star itself would still be hidden behind our and other houses.”Trust us,” the trees coo. “It’s there. Look at us and rest assured.”Purple martins have been scrambling for breakfast back and forth and sideways just above my head, and a hummingbird earlier hovered three feet in front of my face, regarded me for as long as it deemed necessary, and moved on.The oaks across from me, muted for the past ten minutes, again sing to me of morning’s arrival.Deer have been walking west to east alongside the fairway like nomads in the Sahara. Pilgrims headed to Mecca. Or like reluctant soldiers. Four of them take off galloping toward the northeast, a small flock of purple martins in the lead, the cavalry advancing in front of the infantry. A group from among the nomads seeing an oasis.The houses to the northwest, atop the hill, are now a soft brown, lit up by the sun, as if they paid a premium for early admission to the new day.My back is still to the star.But informants have confirmed that it’s taking its diurnal stroll. Not a minute too soon. Not a second too late.

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