We wake to the soft pink of the eastern sky and Woods pointing and “oooooo!”-ing. He’s excited for the day. Me too, and I scoop him up in my arms and we walk out onto the deck, where we feel the air, hear the animals, watch the trees sway in the wind and, if we’re lucky, listen to the wind chimes.
We stand silent while the world wakes up. And Woods watches, points, listens. He seems to find the same pleasure I do in the newness of it all. Every morning a different animal, a different sound, a different energy for us to discover.
Sometimes he puts his head on my chest and I turn to him and rest my lips in the straw of his tow head. Sometimes he plays with the wind chimes. He pushes them just enough to make them sing and then he’s still, transfixed as the notes ascend into the trees.
We see birds. So many this year, and the crows and magpies who disappeared in the late summer have come back hollering and guttural, ill-mannered. We see bear, deer, turkey, hummingbirds, pine squirrels, bees, grubs, and occasionally a fox with a slight limp who roams the property like a Buddhist monk begging for alms.
Mostly we see each other, in the way that men do: through the shared experience of confronting something bigger than us both. We don’t have to say anything. It’s enough to be alone together as the earth unfold around us.