This July 4th I was the first person awake in our household, which is always a good feeling, to be first at something.
Even before I pushed the button on our old coffee maker, I looked out the window and noticed we had visitors. Three Tom turkeys stood in a slant of morning sunshine on the dewy grass.
The big Toms weren’t up to much. Not pecking, not lekking, not fretting. Just basking in that slant of light. It’s rare to see wild creatures in repose, but that’s the word that came to mind. The three sunbathers were backlit so their snoods and waddles glowed crimson and their yellow beaks translucent. One Tom appeared loose jointed, so relaxed that his wings grazed the diamondiferous grass. Each Tom wore a full beard, indicating they had survived a few hunting and breeding seasons. All that was behind them now, and the summer morning was glorious.
Just last night I had complained to my wife that we don’t have a 4th of July tradition. The family cabin is long gone, and we don’t enjoy crowds or gaudy displays. It’s a bit lonely, not to have a place in the parade. Watching the lazy Toms, I thought maybe I had found my holiday groove after all. How rare to be up early with nothing to do. I imagined millions of other indolent early risers, with the day off work and time on our hands.
Here’s to us turkeys, I thought, celebrating our Independence! Just then I heard a scratch at the door. The black dog Shady needed letting out, and she would love nothing more than to hound an old turkey.
I’m Chris Fink and that’s my perspective.