August 22, 2020 8:04:10 PM
On the morning of my birthday this past week, I took my coffee outside and found my usual seat in a garden overlooking the street. It was well before sunup and nestled behind giant elephant ears and under a tall red rosebush someone left in the driveway a year or so ago, I become invisible.
We've had a run of cool mornings, and this was one of those.
As we enter the heart of summer, the days are starting later and ending sooner. It's now between 5:30 and 6 before the first evidence of day appears. My overhead view is limited by a row of oaks and a sugar maple, but there is enough sky to see the beginnings of day in the form of the darkest blue sky and the faint, ineffable wisps of clouds.
It is the height of luxury to sit here in the dark, unhurried, unseen, sipping coffee, absorbing the sounds of a new morning while savoring the day ahead and its possibilities.
Though plentiful, the birds -- in contrast with the cacophony at the height of mating season in spring -- are quiet. There is only the occasional chirp, bleep or squawk.
A block away to the east a car -- its burglar alarm tripped -- starts honking. Three blasts and it stops. A few minutes later another car horn honks, a single blast from the south.
A car pulls up in front of Byron's next door and I hear his rich baritone voice as he gets in. The door slams, the car drives away, and it is quiet again.
This morning my grandson and I will be kayaking on the Buttahatchee. Though the water is low, there will be fallen trees to climb over, imaginary tightropes stretched between tall buildings to test our derring-do and the rapids of the flowing river in which to challenge our sure-footedness.
Few would argue that kids need to be outside cavorting in nature. Adults too.
Recently, listening to the podcast, "Hidden Brain," I heard how some doctors believe exposure to sunlight and the resulting Vitamin D it produces, minimizes the symptoms of Covid-19. The anecdotal evidence cited was convincing, that only 15 minutes of sunlight can have a profound effect. Why not?
A friend has called and wants me to come get a watermelon from his garden. We have dinner plans with family that will feature homemade honey ice cream.
Dorothy Brownlee makes me my mother's famous cheese straws. A beekeeper friend leaves on the porch a jar of honey with, "Happy Birthday, Birney" on the label.
Friends send birthday wishes by email. Birthday calls come from Germany and India.
My granddaughter sends a happy birthday text that when opened causes balloons to drift across the screen of my phone.
I talk to my mother who recalls my first birthday. "It was a perfect day," she says, "just as this one is a perfect day."
While I can't vouch for her generous assessment of that first birthday, I'd have to agree with her about the most recent.
Birney Imes III is the immediate past publisher of The Dispatch.
2. Possumhaw: Goldenrod gets a bad rap LOCAL COLUMNS