I take my coffee outside to watch the sun come up as I do most mornings. As I step out the door I notice the unseasonably warm, dry air. And the stillness. The yard is still cloaked in the grey shades of night but I can see the golden sunlight already hitting the tops of the trees. It’s just after sunrise and the birds must be sleeping in. I place my container of peanuts (for the jays) on the table next to me and take my first sip of coffee. The expected, delightful bitterness tastes good and helps shake away the last bits of sleepiness. I settle in to wait for the birds as the dog eagerly sniffs the air.
Within moments the quiet is broken by the creaking and cracking noises of the Eucalyptus grove in the distance. A gust of wind has come up and you can watch it cross the valley below. It reaches the top of the hill with force and begins to strip the trees of reddish brown leaves. I watch the leaves spin and swirl to the ground as I cover my coffee cup with my hand. Towards the back of the yard, I see the same thing happening to the trees there. But those leaves are headed in the opposite direction. Within moments I feel it and realize I’m sitting right in the middle of a whirlwind. The commotion caused as the two strong gusts meet picks up leaves and dust and debris. The dog decides to back a little closer to me, unsure of what’s happening. As I look up, I see a swarm of bees struggling to maintain their easterly flight path, their bodies shining in the morning sun.
And then it’s over and it’s once again silent. By this time the sun has crested over the hedgerow and yard is glowing a gorgeous golden color. The birds immediately begin to swoop down onto the ground to scratch the dirt in search of breakfast. The jay lands on the small lime tree and nods at me, beseeching me to toss out some peanuts, which I do. I take another sip of coffee. It’s not as delicious as the first. It never is. I look up and the swarm of bees has gone.