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The best part of living here. Daily story · 4 August, 2013
  • I don't know exactly where I'm going, but I know where I've been ~

    I know the exact night I noticed that the cricket and cicada songs started to overlap, and found out that the strange chorus in the symphony was the mating call of tree frogs. I know that the frogs only live in mature trees, lending a gorgeous evening racket to the countryside that does not exist in the new and tidy suburbs.

    I know when I noticed that there were lightening bugs still darting around in July and wondered why are they called june bugs then?

    I know how my obsession with the phases of the moon has grown. I know that I always wake up in the middle of the night on a full moon and go into the bathroom to look out the window. I've tried, each month over the last three summers, to try to get a picture of its fullness but was only successful once, when the clouds partially obscuring it looked like a face. (I know that it was worth the wait and it's OK if it never happens again.)

    I know I have a silly sort of pride around calling myself a lunatic.

    I know that mourning dove on the phone line at the foot of the driveway every morning has got to be the same one everyday. I wonder if there is a way to prove it? I know that one day I'll find out.

    I know - almost - the exact color of chicory that grows mid summer in the ditches. I pass the lovely weeds everyday on the way to work and though I can't ever photograph them correctly, true to color, I've figured out that the pantone color most closely resembling them is #17-3817. Also known as Daybreak. "The color vibrates with ideals and protection. It helps move people through fear and indecision with ease and agility," according to my "Colorstrology" book picked up on a lark one day.

    I know that often times a lark leads one to something important, worth finding out. I know that I have never regretted following a lark. Ever.

    I know the quiet whooooshing sound of the gliders as they pass by overhead and the hum of the propeller planes that tow them up into the sky. I know the claustrophobic heat of the cockpit and the singular kind of silence way up there in the sky. I know how circling in a thermal feels just like being a bird.

    I know the red fieldstone so commonplace here and how it crumbles quite easily. I know the farm houses built of it, the gigantic thick slabs formed into steps at my house and and the winding, red gravel driveways dotting the countryside of Bucks County. I know that all that ruddy brown makes grass look that much greener, makes springtime that much more sublime.

    I know the mad transformation of how these little streams turn into rushing rivers after a rain. So calm and then so not. I know how that makes my skin tingle each time I witness it.

    I know how to see the sky while looking down.

    Maybe that's been the best part of living here - learning to see up while looking down, to understand what's happened in the past with eyes cast ahead. I've learned how to attune to still water - years of looking at these streams, lakes, puddles and pools - through the camera's lens. I don't know if I would've learned that anywhere else and I am grateful for the lesson in learning to see that way.

    I know that reflections are often more interesting than the thing itself and I know how sometimes there is a particular kind of beauty there, waiting on the ground. Quietly waiting for me to notice it. That has made me notice other things, people, too, I might have otherwise missed.

    I know that if I want to know you, if I want to know me, if I need to figure out something well worth figuring out, I am going to have to look in many directions other than straight ahead. Straight ahead at the thing or object in question.

    I will need to use the power of reflections, reflecting. There's an awful lot I don't know. But this much I do.
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