The pinwheel I bought in Ojai came with me to my new home by the creek about four years ago. A few days ago I thought it had bit the dust. I was only going to put it in a different pot but it had been stuck where it was so long that when I pulled it out the stick broke. "You’re too short now to stick in another pot." I told it, "and your colors are quite faded.” I came that close to tossing the little fellow in the trash bin. Then I saw a spot up near the crook of the shepherd’s staff pole that holds the hanging ivy where it could accommodate Pinwheel if I tied it there. Now I get special pleasure out of seeing Pinwheel from any of the chairs I choose to sit in. He did squeak a bit after the change but a squirt of WD40 took care of that.
It’s always fun for me to give things I’ve enjoyed a second life when they appear to be headed for the end of their story. I like to think of things as thoughts. It gives them more dignity. Even the French do that in their language. Nearly everything is considered either male or female. I like to learn lessons from them too. That’s one of the perks of growing older. I allow myself time to sit and think, enjoy my solitude in the place I love most, my home. Should have done more of that all my life. Having a tablet and pen with me also helps. When a thing gives me a lesson I can jot it down right away.
This morning as I sat out on the patio little Pinwheel spoke to me. “Thank you, J.D., for saving my life. (He knew I'd like his use of my artist's name, Joyce Darling. The Darling part came from my mother's maiden name.) He went on, "I know what those county dumps are like. Don’t ask me how, but I do. Now I’m really enjoying my high perch. What a view! I suppose some people might think it would be boring to be a pinwheel but I like my lot in life. I have many secrets that you humanoids can benefit from. First, I respond to Breezes and Gusts and even high Winds. You might say that something you call Spirit is a lot like what causes the movements of air. It has its effects on everything and everyone. You can’t see it. You can only see what it does to us. It makes us move, it gives us ideas and purpose and pleasure. Sometimes we get the brunt of bad spirits like tornados or hurricanes. None of us, not even I, can explain the whys of bad winds or bad thoughts. (Who do you know can explain why 2+2=5?) But it’s something to think about, the way Spirit moves us for pleasure and good purposes, and it's up to us not to feed the baser elements of those bad winds that always get their power from ignorance and fear." Obviously Pinwheel had been doing some thinking too.
The dawn was hinting its arrival when I had this little conversation with Pinwheel and it was time for me to do a few things like wash my face, get dressed, clean the bird cage, have breakfast and drive Katie to work. The day has gone by and I got a few things done. I ushered by the front door at church. That’s always pleasant. Reminds me of the Bible passage, “I’d rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my Lord than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.” Then I patronized the pet shop by getting in supplies for Tommy, my canary. Stopped at Costco to fill the gas tank, had a little lunch, caught up on the latest news on TV, and mended a tank top for Katie. I think I can credit Spirit for moving me to do those things.
Right now I’m going to take a cool glass of water out to the patio again and enjoy the dusky side of the day. If Pinwheel starts up another conversation or gives me another lesson about Spirit, I’ll let you know, but I’m hoping he’ll just do his thing, keep spinning and let me be. One good lesson a day is enough for my mind to chew on. I’m glad for P.W.'s second life though. If his spinning round the clock were by his own efforts I'd feel sorry for him but as it is he must like it about like I like breathing. Breathing and spinning are great. They take no effort on our part but they are essential to our happiness and well-being. Pinwheel has one perk he said he enjoys quite frequently. He can be perfectly still when Wind is sleeping on the job. Spirit just never quits.