The stars were gorgeous. I felt so small standing under the night sky.
The storms were phenomeonal (also read: scary as shit). I could go on and on about all the times the damn electricity would go out as soon as it started raining, how I would have to huddle in my hallway bathtub, calling my mom to see what the weather was doing, how my dogs followed me so closely that they ran into my ass, how our property flooded on several occasions, bringing dozens of ducks, how it rained, and rained, and rained. But I said 'bright sides', didn't I? So. Where was I? Ah, the sky.
The clouds as storms were coming in. The pink sunsets. The sound of the wind (which never stopped blowing) in the huge pecan trees by the gate and behind the pond. The pear trees full of fruit, with branches so weighed down they nearly touched the ground. The way the sun reflected on the hay when it was reaching for the sky, just before it was cut.
The quiet. The silence. The sounds at night: the donkeys braying, the coyotes howling, the owl that visited so often in the tree across from my bedroom windows (which I could never get a clear picture of, darn it). You could hear everything out there.
The feeling of having 23.13 acres all my own. Mine. My teeny tiny spot on this planet.
And...the birds. I'm not sure what kind they were. Some said they were barn swallows, some said they were sparrows...I don't know. They were little and cute and fiesty, which you know warmed my heart.
These birds built their nests on my front and back porches. One time, they built it on my front porch light. And as many times as my husband knocked their shit down, they re-built in half the time. (And just to clarify, he never knocked them down when they had eggs or babies in them; only before. He was trying to convince them to move on.)
I'm not discounting how gross and utterly annoying it was. Once the babies hatched, there would be between 3 and 6 babies in that little nest, all hovering their little asses over the side of the nest, which means there would be piles of poop on my porch. Piles. And also? The mom and dad (and sometimes extended family, I swear) would dive bomb us anytime we would walk out our doors. Even after I would run off the porch, they would squeek and screech and dive bomb me on my way to the mailbox or to water my flowers. That was pretty annoying.
But I loved to watch them sleep at night, all balled up, next to the nest. I loved to see and hear the little babies once they were born, and wait for their little fuzzy heads to look out over the edge of the nest at me. It was amazing to watch the parents feed the babies. And it was interesting to watch the babies get out of the nest and perch on the ledge, testing their wings. And then, suddenly, they would all be flying, like it was something they were born to do. They would fly to my window sills, and sit on the edge, cocking their heads this way and that, trying to check me out. They grew so fast, to the point that none of them slept in the nest at night, just curled up next to it.
I knew at one point I would look out at the nest to find it empty. My husband always took that time to knock it down, and wash the piles of poo off the porch. And within a few months, another nest would be built, with new parents and new babies.