Last night I noticed a crow sitting on a branch in a tree looking south over the valley.  It felt unusual, and then, I realized there was another sitting in a different tree.  Bella had risen from sleeping and gone to the door.  All seemed to be waiting for something and then I looked at my watch.  8:00.  The howl began.  It’s become a full neighborhood venture, a gathering to honor and release.

The bird’s participation reminded me of my sons’ middle school.  It’s by the bay and as lunchtime nears, gulls gather, ready to plunge.  

This morning I rose early and went outside with my coffee to watch the day come to light.  The crickets stopped chirping as birds stepped in with their different calls.  The owl kept up a soft who-who-who as a variety of birds tweeted, and the crows cawed.  Then the squirrel added its chirp.

We’ve lived here 42 years and every Sunday morning between 7:30 and 8:00, there’s the Sunday morning ride.  Motorcycles of all types gather at the junction and head out in a pack.  The ride started 70 years ago and the Highway Patrol knows about it, and so they gather, too, and the motorcyclists and cops enjoy coffee and goodies together, and then the ritual begins.  They ride out Highway 1 to Point Reyes, many having breakfast at the Station House Cafe which appreciates their business, and some continue up to Tomales.  On Easter Sunday, the mountain is opened early so they can go to the top and watch the sunrise.  I’ve done it and can state it’s a peaceful gathering, a tradition, communion.  

Yesterday, there were more bikes than usual, perhaps 60 or 70, which meant a roar of perhaps five minutes as the bikes swirled through the curves on their way to Pt. Reyes.

I actually didn’t hear them yesterday morning but some people who I assume are new to the area were affronted by this ritual and want it stopped.

This morning listening to all the different birds gathered together in a chorus, I wondered why there’s so much intolerance.  Yesterday because of the beautiful weather, and an opening in shelter-in-place, there were more bikes than usual, and the buzzing roar of bees was a little longer than usual, and yet still not long.

This Monday morning, Memorial Day, I sat outside thinking of Thich Nhat Hanh’s wonderful poem, “Call Me By My True Names”.

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