Friday, March 24, 2006

On This Day, a Lizard Said *Happy Birthday!* To Me.

Actually I forgot it was my birthday until midmorning. By then I'd been awake since 4 am, working in the yard since sunup. Thinking - a little guiltily - about the last 3 *stops* I didn't finish on my errands yesterday, and how I might could do them today even though I need a rest day, at home, after an errand day but see I didn't renew my handicap parking tag online in time and it expires on my BIRTHDAY - and then of course I remembered that's TODAY!

And all bets were off.

Birthdays are Free Days. I instantly abandoned all pretense at responsible behavior, and played in the yard to my heart's content.


Finally, I had an easy way to dispose of the poor dead madagascar palm (Pachypodium lamerii) in the front yard. Per Desert Cat! TONGS! Oh I wanted to do that so bad. It was a hurricane fatality. A couple weeks after the storm, some of our odder plants just keeled over with inexplicable cases of Sudden Death. This was one.

As I sat there, happily making a little pile out of the madagascar palm's coral bed and digging up bits of nut grass, I noticed my trash bag for weeds was moving from inside. Like this: Poke! Boing! Poke!

So I opened it up and saw a lizard sitting on top of the mound of weeds. It looked like a pregnant female. Gravid. Big ol' watermelon belly.

Either that, or it just ate a whole lot of bugs. I mean really big fat juicy ones.

Anyway, she just sat there on the little weed pile, right by my latex-gloved left hand. I, of course, talked to her. Gently. I told her hello, thanks for visiting, sorry about the scare in the bag; and said how pretty she was, and that I hoped those were a bunch of nice healthy babies in her belly, good for you mama...

Lizards listen. They cock their heads to hear you better, and look you in the eye. These are not stupid insentient animals here. And for some reason, they seem to like the sound of my crunchy deep voice. Even when it's all high pitched and squeaky from allergies.

She sat there for the longest time, listening to me talk to her. Looking at me, turning first one ear then the other towards the sound of my voice, tilting her head one way then the other to see my face. Listening intently. Looking me right in the eye. Examining me up and down.

Then she hopped on my hand, scampered up my arm, and perched on my shoulder.

To hear me and see me better?

She looked and looked at me, all over my face. She had the most beautiful eyes, green and brown, oh hazel colored with flecks of brilliant gold, just glowing with reflected light. She looked in my eyes. She knew what my eyes were, she knew what they were for. She watched me looking back at her.

What an extraordinary gift.

I talked to her on and on, softly, a good ten minutes or more. She didn't leave my shoulder until I asked her to go. It was time for us to be about our business. Even then she only went a foot or two away, and stayed there in companionable quiet, watching me garden, until I got up to work somewhere else.

Mother Nature? Happy birthday right back to you. Every second of every day.


Desert Cat said...

Whoops. Look what I miss by being busy all weekend?

Happy belated Birthday!

Very cool about the lizard. I'm afraid the lizards in my backyard are not terribly fond of me at the moment, as I am disrupting one of their favorite hangouts with my new shed construction.

k said...

They seem to have mixed feelings when I disrupt their environment. They don't like to have their little territories altered. OTOH they do get LOTS of new bugs unearthed. Sort of MRE's except nice and fresh. Since Florida is, after all, home of the Most and Best Bugs in America! and BIGGEST! no matter what those ignorant Texans say.

For a long string of years, my birthday was the date of terrible personal news. Over and over, year after year.

It seems to have turned around with Walter's entry into my life. (Unless I just rejinxed it here!) Still and all, I rather like that date to be on, say, *Hawaiian time.*

Could be why I forgot what day it was for a while there.

But I'm glad to be a grand old lady of 48!

John P. McCann said...

And a happy belated birthday!

May this be the year that you find a megaladon tooth!