This morning I did something I realize would appear as strange to an onlooker. I stood outside in the back area of the house and stared into the too-long grass as if something would emerge at any moment. The door was slightly ajar — closed to a degree as to not let the cat out but open enough so that you could still hear the maw of silence from within the house if you were standing beside. It was windy but I felt no chill from where I was.
I thought at first that I had seen a small bear, neck-high to the length of the surrounding grass and shrubbery so that its head would be poking along the tips like another stalk, its nose pointed skyward.
As I stood there, I was aware of several things at once. I was aware firstly that I was listening to any sounds that would escape from within the house. It put me to mind of interminable moments from my childhood, of being back at home and puttering away in the backyard with a shovel and stick before my mother would call me in for dinner through the screen door. There are more instances like this that I recall more for their sensation than any potency to what had happened. (I would think that any such childhood remembered in frivolity would tend toward a feeling of loneliness, but I had no sense of such when I was that age.)
I was aware too of the time of day and how mundane it all seemed that I could trouble myself with such a thing so soon to awakening, as if I had known all along there was nothing in the grass and I only wanted to involve myself in something as to make the morning more substantial.
Finally I was aware of how long it had been since I last stood in silence and was attuned to nothing but my own sense of passing time and breathing. I stood there for the feint of making sure I hadn't seen anything but soon realized I was taking upon it any opportunity to not have to be aware of myself and the day ongoing.
The more I stared into the same spot in the grass, the more I thought I could actually see that bear cub, sunken in the overgrowth, swaying its body to overcome the footing. Ursine clumsiness. I pictured deeply how it would have lurched about before acceding to the wind. I thought of just enough of the sunlight to pour in from above the rain gutters to let me witness it all in such kinetic clarity.