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Naturalist Notebook

Peace by Cindy Owsley


By Cindy Owsley

The need to be alone nearly equaled

the need for a close friend's hug

and so it seems that inertia prevailed.


I packed multiple armloads of hackberry

all split and dried into the cold cabin

and started a fire in the woodstove.


It was seasonably warm for late February

but the frozen ground held the snowmelt

in squishy puddles that soaked my boots.


The binoculars that dangled from my neck

assisted me in naming my feathery friends.

Red-headed Woodpecker. Blue Jay. Cardinal.


A veil of fog obscured the setting sun

and I ate cold leftovers from a clamshell

as the teakettle signaled its warmth.


As I sorted puzzle pieces into piles of colors

great flocks of snow geese barked across the sky

and coyotes yipped their favorite party songs.


Now the wood crackles its sauna warmth

as I pen these words to help me remember

all these things that gave me peace.