Saturday, July 25, 2015

Nature's Changing Face

I’m at my desk writing, gazing out the picture window in front of me at waning daylight. Its sharp lines of sunlight are like spotlights directed at me, not to make me center stage but sent as a reminder of the brevity of time. Light drops by the moment, fading into what will be a spectacular finale of color.
Baby pines in the front yard are  the next generation, ready to step up when their time arrives. Mama doe walks cautiously with her two fawns, which are now close to having no spots at all. They have cleaned off the low hanging fruits from the blueberry bushes, and they’re looking among the shrubs now.
A brown rabbit sits hunched up on its hind legs, nearly blending in with the pine straw strewn behind it. Watching for predators and rummaging for food.
Ravens call to one another, and then meet in the grass below, looking for a meal. Or perhaps shiny new trinkets to carry to their nest.
I am at home in such a place, with nature’s miracle unfolding in front of me. And, I find much to write about here. The city lights are enticing and fun for an occasional excursion, even if only to remind me of how wonderful a place I find in nature, along a wooded path, listening to the music that fits together far more intricately than any symphony. A master composer and musicians may come close, but I have to believe their inspiration comes in part from a setting like this, so beautifully intertwined in both sound and spirit.

And then the creatures of the night come alive. At dusk and early on the music is intense and overwhelming. Fireflies randomly display the darkness with enough of a flicker of light to leave questions in the recesses left behind. What is in that dark spot of woods? Did I see something move? I heard a sound from out there. 
Tree frogs, cicadas, crickets, and on occasion a coyote’s scream pierce the night air. Take a short walk with a flashlight and be careful to avoid stepping on the frogs and snakes. Walk near the thick grove of trees next to the garage and a thunderous rattling of wings nearly makes you fall. Then you wonder; was it an owl? A hawk? It was quiet and breathless until you step over that line of personal space.
From deep in the woods a low, guttural “cronk” sound fills in the gaps of sound, and as it approaches I am sometimes tempted to retreat. But I long to be in a tent, deep in the woods, sleeping peacefully to the sounds of nature that can’t be adequately described with mere words. I feel night time’s cool air as it seeps into the tent and fills every pore of its fabric. I become immersed in the surreal world of the night, stepping outside my normal realm into a fictional story, a fantasy where my imagination can fill in all the blank pages of unseen treasures.  Then, in the deep of the night, as the night creatures begin to slow in their drunken revelry,  a deep, satisfying sleep will close the chapter and usher in a new day. No evidence remains of the night before, and a new beginning full of new hope emerges with morning's soft light.