63 degrees required a light weight cabin wrap. It is a sort of shawl, a long and wide rectangular shaped piece with a slit cut into one end so it wraps more like a cape, providing the sense of sleeves. I put it on over my jammies, took my coffee and went out on the perch for some me time. Last night my counselor had recommended this week I commit to finding an hour every day or so, as able, to just have some me time. I decided not to venture beyond my home boarders today so it was coffee on The Perch.
My balcony overlooks the parking lot of our complex, our building facing 2 others that are identical to this one. I placed my cup on the table that sits between the two chairs and currently is home to a very large pot of yellow mums. Even in the dark I could see petals on the table top from a recent windy, rainy day.
Just sitting and taking it all in, the first thing I noticed was the concert of crickets, their songs coming from all sides, both near and far. It is one of those night sounds I find soothing and use on my sleep app on my phone if I cannot relax at night.
The street beyond the complex carries just an occasional car at this point so it is still very peaceful at this hour. Most windows are dark in the buildings across the way, with an occasional one coming to light every so often. As I close my eyes and just listen to the world waking up I can hear the planes taking off at the Greater Cincinnati Airport (which is in northern Kentucky and probably not 2 miles as the crow flies). I wonder where all those people and packages are heading off too so early in the morning.
Someone’s A/C in our building kicks on, disturbing the music of the crickets and drowning out all but the loudest of the little performers. I open my eyes and notice that our side of the parking lot is rather dark, the light on the building that normally shines down onto our cars is burned out. I’m well hidden, cloaked in darkness, as I sit sipping my coffee in my chair. The headlights from the street opposite our private drive don’t give me away thanks to the covering of leaves on a huge, old oak tree that is in the center of our parking lot. But the seasons are changing and soon it will shed my shield of leaves as winter approaches, exposing my little perch to the headlights and the late afternoon sun as it sets during the colder months.
Across the way I can see a man taking his trash to the dumpster, in his pajamas, under the cover of the last darkness of the night. Clearly you just aren’t as incognito as you may think, neighbor, because I see you and you are 50 yards or so away.
A parent and young teen leave the building across the road, get in their car and drive to the far end of the parking lot near the main street. The young person stands in the darkness at the corner of the private drive and street to wait for the school bus, the parent waiting in the car. I notice the red light of an activated car alarm blinking in the former owners car, and then others around the parking lot.
In the distance I faintly hear the sound of a siren as help is on the way to someone in need. It gets closer and after a few minutes the life squad from the city department blasts blinding, flashing red lights on everything around as it cuts through the township to the city boarders on the other side. The siren slowly fading into the distance. I cannot help but think what a long wait it must be for folks on that end of the city.
My upstairs neighbor exits the building, walking across the lot, down the drive and out to the street, crossing to wait for the metro. Another neighbor follows a few minutes later using a flashlight to load his lunch cooler into his car before heading off to work.
More windows are bathed in light as folks are waking up, and more cars are now out on the street, passing us by as their occupants head off to get their day started, progress in motion on this Friday morning.
Finally the AC unit shuts off and it is peaceful again. But there are less crickets still singing. More students have joined the first on the corner, and it seems a long time to me to have to stand waiting on a school bus. How much time we spend just waiting, and waiting, minutes we cannot ever get back.
A trash panda scurries over to make a final dumpster dive for food before heading around the end of the building, back into the wooded, water shed behind the building, to sleep until this evening.
The first light of day is beginning to kiss the over cast sky far off at the horizon. It is turning the world’s ceiling the slightest, nearly undetectable shade of pink.
I hear a siren again, far off and coming gradually closer. In a few moments that same squad, now lit inside and carrying a patient, roars past our building as it heads to the hospital. I hope that they are okay, what a rotten way to kick off your weekend.
The sky above me is starting to glow lighter, a dismal gray, and I’m no longer hidden from view. A gentle breeze causes the leaves on the tree to wave good morning. The grandfather clock chimes in the living room, I can hear it through my sliding screen door, telling me it is time to retreat inside and get ready to face my day.
I slept solid last night, and feel so much better having greeted the day just sitting. Me, my coffee, and the world coming to life from the perspective of The Perch.