I’m continually shocked at/by myself, having grown up in big cities. My mother, somewhat phobic of big, “natural” spaces. Each morning I go into the backyard, to see what has come up or scampered by. A family of yellow finches in a tree (I can’t yet identify). The limping teenage deer leaping gingerly over the neighbor’s fence. The way the birdhouse tilts against the oak, its angle dependent on yesterday’s wind. The red fox slyly diagonal between houses. I rake last fall’s moldy, clumped leaves to let what’s underneath breathe.