I was reading on the couch in my sunroom--a small, dark room with three windows blocked by a giant holly tree. No sun filtered through the branches today, it was rainy and thoroughly gloomy outside. I'd returned from food shopping, grateful to have managed it between the heavy showers and thunderstorms that just kept coming and coming, but the idea of doing housework or even writing petered out in the dreariness of the day. I couldn't keep my eyes open and,laying my book aside, I drew my knees up and put my head on the pillow in total surrender to the rain and my mood.
It was a while before I heard the tapping, what with the rain and the intermittent dull rumbles of thunder, but finally the peculiar pattern of sound penetrated my drowsy brain and I turned to look out the window. A small bird, sat on my windowsill pecking on the glass.
"I'm drowning out here--do you mind?"
I'm accustomed to this in Soul Food. If I'd been on my computer in Riversleigh or the Abbey, or on the Serpentine road or any of the other blogs I'd have accepted a talking bird without question, but I wasn't on computer. In dumbfounded obedience I opened the window. The bird, no larger than a sparrow, hopped inside and, extending its wings, shook itself, sending droplets of water flying everywhere. Then it sneezed.
"Man, I hope I'm not catching a cold."
I ignored it and curled up again in my chair.
"Hey, what's with you? Aren't you glad to see me?"
"I'm obviously losing my marbles, so I'll just get comfortable and continue my dream."
"No, really, don't do that," it said. I felt it land on the cushion beside me. "Heather sent me. She said you had a bad week and could use a little cheering up. So what'll it be? You want me to transport you to someplace exotic, or you need a seed of inspiration, or what?"
"Aren't you a little small for a phoenix?" I asked, refusing to open my eyes. Honestly, this was the dumbest dream I'd ever had.
"I try to blend in, you know. Your neighborhood doesn't really seem like the kind of place that would take to me in my usual form. And your house is way too small. Hmmmm. You may be right. Maybe you just need to rest. Go back to sleep. I can't really stick around, but I'll leave you something. You rest, you'll be fine."
I woke up later with a crick in my neck from the way I'd been sleeping. The house was still gloomy, the rain still poured down. I did a load of laundry, so the day wouldn't be a complete waste and while I was putting it in the machine, got an idea about my friend, a way to honor his memory and generosity so I e-mailed another friend about it. Well, we'll see, maybe it will work out. It's a good idea.
I read something yesterday that mentioned a "blog me" button. Seemed like it would be a time saver, so I investigated. I had to download the Google toolbar to get it but I messed up and got all the doodads but the one thing I wanted--the button. I'm not too swift with this tech stuff--I was always told I didn't have any patience.
Funny, when children come into the library to do a report, I tell them to be like Sherlock Holmes--the world's greatest detective. Look for clues. Take your time. Think logically. Sure you can do it! Well now, the button wasn't where help said it would be, but I found it. Hmmm. Works like a charm! Not a bad day after all.
I wonder. Seeds of all useful things. A talking Phoenix the size of a sparrow. Nah, couldn't be.