(NOTE: A sand wedge is a short, sturdy golf club with a steeply inclined face designed to hit balls out of loose sand and deep, grassy lies close to the green.)
A number of years ago, I participated in a series of dinosaur digs in the badlands of Montana and North Dakota with the Milwaukee Public Museum. The area being worked was famous for its productivity and therefore drew a variety of researchers from all over the world. Amongst the important scientists and dignitaries present one summer was an aged paleontologist who never went into the field without his trusty sand wedge.
He didn’t use it to hit out of sand traps (although heaven knows the badlands of Montana and North Dakota are plenty dry and sandy). Instead, he used the sand wedge to reach down and deftly flip over or pick up specimens to examine as he walked along. This allowed him to avoid constantly bending down or stooping over and also served as a walking stick. He became as adept at prospecting with that sand wedge as Tiger Woods is bouncing a golf ball on the face of his putter.
At the time, being a young, fit, thirty-something, I thought this all to be excessively silly. What next, an Indiana Jones hat and a bull whip? The old guy was showboating! But now, as I approach the slippery side of sixty, with a back so sore that I can barely bend over, I have reconsidered.
As a matter of fact, I think I’m going to start combing the local garage sales for an old sand wedge. It should improve my short game immensely. After all, short of falling down, the ground is a lot more difficult to get to than it used to be.
There is no charge for what I am about to disclose. This is completely free. It is my gift to you for the summer, to do with as you please. Admittedly, I’m sure that I’m not the first person to stumble upon this, there is, after all, nothing new in the world. But it was new to me and hopefully it will be new to you… and that’s all that really counts.
For Christmas I received a compact, one-serving, personal smoothie maker. It has only one button and does only one thing: make smoothies. Over the past few months I have been experimenting with all sorts of concoctions using bananas, strawberries, tomatoes, blueberries, bacon bits (yes), avocados, fruit juices, tomato juice, soy milk, Jack Daniels, and other
materials that seemed a good idea at the time. So far, without exception, I have produced a stunning succession of one delightful drink after another.
Let me offer you two of them:
Variation #1 Beer Smoothie
This came quite by accident as I was down to my last bottle of George Killian’s Red in the fridge and was debating whether to drink it or to go for a
more healthy fruit alternative. On a whim, I poured the entire bottle of Red into the blender and added a banana, a fistful of ripe strawberries, and some blueberries.
Blend that baby to a glistening froth.
(They sort of come in pairs so you should have at least another beer around the house.)
Variation #2: Lemonade Beer
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When life gives you beer and lemonade, make a lemonade beer. Again, I am using George Killian’s Red because a.) it’s all I have in the fridge and 2.) it has a naturally fruity flavor that lends itself well to smoothies.
Simply pour in the entire beer, add a couple of inches of lemonade and
blend the hell out of it. Add whatever inspires you. (I haven’t tried the bacon bits yet on this one but I have a sense that it would add something…)
My first real job after graduating from college was as a graveyard shift
lab assistant at the huge Chevron Research Facility in Richmond, California. My job entailed walking like a ghost through the empty facility from midnight until dawn, taking samples, moderating temperatures and generally making sure that the place didn’t burn down until the REAL scientists came back in the morning. During the day there might have been a couple of thousand workers there. At night there were a dozen of us.
I carried on my belt a huge wad of keys – keys that allowed me access to every building, every room, and every door in the place. It was a playground. I knew all the best places to take a quick nap, catch a buzz, peruse porno collections or play my harmonica in peace.
At the end of each shift we were required to write up a brief report in a log book that seemed never to be read. On Easter morning, 1978, I left the following account in the official log. I assume that somewhere it still exists:
“While making my usual rounds at 5:00 a.m. I spotted a man wearing a glowing white robe walking adjacent to Building B. He was barefoot and was bleeding from nasty cuts on his hands and feet. He seemed to also have an abdominal wound and generally looked like he had been beaten up… probably some poor Berkeley hippy set upon by Richmond thugs. But despite what must have been considerable pain, he had a serene, distant smile upon his face.
“Hey you,” I hollered as authoritatively as I could, “stop right there! This is
private property and you are unauthorized to bhere.”
He stopped but said nothing.
“Who are you and why are you here?” I demanded as I reached for my walky-talky.
“I am the son of God.”
Yup, he was stoned.
“My son,” he said quietly, “I have risen.”
“Risen?” I said as I scratch my head, “Jesus Christ buddy, I’ve been up all night!”
I left whatever happened next to the log book’s imagination and went home to look for eggs and get some sleep.
I am outraged that some pathetic, worthless, infected hangnail of society with multiple assault weapons can enter an elementary school and shoot small, innocent children and their teachers so many times that they are unrecognizable.
I am outraged that the weapons and ammo were easily acquired from the murderer’s own mother’s gun collection – a woman who was apparently another paranoid, gun-nut, survivalist who raised her children in the culture of guns.
I am outraged that the NRA and other “pry my cold, dead fingers from it” Rambo’s cling to their foolish, outdated, colonial obsession with redcoats marching onto their farms and stealing their chickens - while children murder each other.
I am outraged at Rush Limbaugh and Little Hannity and the other fear and hate mongers that have whipped their little bands of impressionable nitwits into a frenzy of their own making.
I am outraged at the nitwits, dolts, idiots and morons who swallow this crap and then, without even taking a moment to think for themselves, forward it to others verbatim on social media.
I am outraged that anyone can be allowed to own assault rifles and huge clips of ammo.
I am outraged that for too many idle young men the world has become a video game.
I am outraged that, whenever these things happen, the good citizens flock to the churches to light candles and “pray”… as if all of the praying that they did last week did any good.
I’ve had all I can take, I won’t take any more.
I’m calling you out.
So if you are a whining, pathetic 20-something that lives with his mother and thinks that the world is nothing but a video game starring you and your little imaginary friend, then you have a problem with me.
If you think that the difficulties that face our society are the result of Liberals, the main-stream media and uppity women and negroes in Washington, then you have a problem with me.
If you have more than one simple handgun and one deer rifle in your home, then you have a problem with me.
If you think that wrapping yourself in the flag and the bible and worshipping at the altar of Limbaugh and Ted Nugent makes you a“patriot”, then you’ve got a problem with me.
If you are so foolish and short-sighted so as to believe that the tragedy in Connecticut could have been avoided if teachers all wore guns, then you have a problem with me.
And if you ever come to my school dressed like a storm trooper and try to hurt my children, I’ll grab the nearest child’s lunchbox and beat you to within an inch of your pathetic, miserable life. Then I’ll shove your assault rifle WAY up your ass and throw you on the front lawn of the NRA.
This is a warning.
You’ve got a problem with me.
I have this thing about perfect moments – those peculiar “sweet spots in time” that occur when all of the forces involved come harmoniously together for the briefest instant to produce something that is far greater than its parts. For instance, consider the sweet “thwack” of the merging of arcs as a golfer hits the perfect drive, or the bonding of individual musical notes to produce a haunting minor 7th chord. Ponder the complex release of muscles as a bird launches into flight or the chance visual alignment of random objects in the setting sun that can never again be duplicated.
You can be present at perfect moments, but you never know them until they’ve passed. You can only savor them in retrospect because once you recognize them for what they are, by their nature they immediately cease to exist. You never know perfection when it is happening, you only sense it once it has gone.
So it happened to be that I was walking down the main street of my newly adopted home– Strasburg, Pennsylvania – in the rain last Sunday. I had been sick for a week and really felt a need to get out and get some fresh air. I love weather. So I pulled on my rain slicker and set out into the late autumn storm.
Strasburg is a quaint and historic little town in the heart of Amish country. The main street is really the only street, a long stretch that follows the trace of the Old Conestoga Road, the first road into the American wilderness. Founded in the early 1700’s, it is a showcase of American homestead architecture from original log cabins to Colonial inns, to Civil War duplexes to post-WWII brick ranches. (I live in a pleasant one-bedroom, post-divorce
About a mile away, out the far side of town is the famous Strasburg Train Museum where ancient refurbished coal and steam engines blow their throaty whistles as they ferry tourists on excursions through the rolling countryside. The sound is piercing when you stand next to it but by the time it reaches my side of town it is a pleasant audio backdrop, like the rolling Amish buggies or the rustling skeletons of corn.
Since it was Sunday, the wagons and buggies were out in force, transporting the black-clad Amish from home. to church. to wherever it is that the Amish go on a rainy Sunday. The hollow rolling sound of thin wooden wheels resonated through the wooden frames of the wagons like cellos, drawn along by the methodical clomp, clomp, clomp of horse’s hooves drumming down the street, each hoof a slightly different tone, but all cupped and muffled by the shallow puddles and wet pavement. The air hissed with the snorting of proud Amish horses as they high-stepped and the faint, searing“ssssssstzz” of the thin wheel rims on wet road.
The distant wail of an antique locomotive echoed off the roof tops, muffled by steady rain as it slithered through town.
I stopped at a storm drain to watch the rush of water as it cascaded over clots of fallen leaves, gurgled along the gutter and then swirled counter clock-wise before being sucked into the bowels of subterranean Strasburg… leaving a flurry of calming water noises behind as it passed. There is no sound more soothing then the sound of running water. Strasburg was otherwise quiet.
As I stood listening to the water, I became aware of a buggy approaching. “Clop-clop-clop…” came the hoof beats,“Roometty, roometty-room” echoed the wooden wagon. “Sssssstz” went the tires.
The wagon came nearer and neared. I listened carefully. The water was the
drone, the wagon was the rhythm, they worked in perfect harmony. I listen for the melody. If only, I wished, if only the train whistle would blow…
And then right on cue, just as the horses and wagon passed the gurgling, singing street brook, the lonesome wail of an old train whistle drifted through the naked trees, muted by the rain. It rattled off the wheel spokes and rubbed against the horses before dancing down the drain with the water. It was the melody! It was a perfect aural storm.
And then it blew again. And for one brief instant –lasting two seconds, maybe three – I closed my eyes and celebrated the chance confluence of sound, the sweet spot in time, as I was transported back to the 19th Century.
It was a perfect moment…
I had been there…
I had seen it coming and had watched it go by.
And now it was over.
I go on this diatribe almost every year about this time, so if you’ve heard it before just dismiss it as lunatic ravings. Being a native born Michigan-American and having spent almost all of my life living in the beautiful wooded northern states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Vermont and Pennsylvania, I feel that I’ve earned the right to complain about the annual manly rite of Fall: deer hunting… or, more to the point, deer hunters.
Autumn is, hands down, the best time of year to be outside. The air is crisp, the temperatures are cool, the bugs are gone and the fallen leaves offer new vistas through the woods that have been hidden all summer by foliage. After the oppressive heat and humidity of summer, the landscape begs you to come out to hike, bike, run, walk, explore.
But unfortunately a person and their children or pets can get killed trying to enjoy the great out of doors. Hidden behind rocks and RAM-tough trucks and cowering in tree stands like sissies are a bunch of orange-clad, Rambo wanna-bes, who trace their god-given right to monopolize the woods back to George Washington and Daniel-H-fucking-Boone.
The woods are ablaze in a testosterone fueled man-fest… with occasional women.
Beer-bellied HVAC dealers in new boots suddenly become nimble, light-footed “trackers”, bearing nothing but stealth as they follow the sticky blood trail of a wounded, disoriented deer through the woods. Differences are laid to rest as the conversation turns to killing. Crazy uncles bond with fathers-in-law, pastors lie down with sinners, and tea baggers toast the other forty-seven. Motel rooms in Bad Axe and Brattleboro are transformed into trapper’s cabins along the western frontier and sofas with potato chip crumbs are converted into rickety, predawn tree stands.
“It’s not a sofa,”they’ll snarl, “it’s cold up there! Have you ever tried to sit in a tree stand at dawn on a sub-zero day for six hours?”
Well, no Rambo, that was YOUR idea, not mine.
The rationale is always the same:
1. It is a chance for men to bond with their sons in the woods. So take the kid camping or maybe on a canoe trip down the local river. Next weekend you could get up before dawn and take him on a hike along the ridge as the sun comes up. Take your camera… shoot up the place. Knock yourself out.
2. Hunters are necessary to thin out the herd. These pesky deer have become so plentiful that they endanger motorists and farm crops. And remind me again, who was it that killed off all the natural predators in the first? Maybe rather than kill off the deer, what we really need to do is to restore the wolf and mountain lion populations to their original pre-Columbus, pre-bounty populations… providing a little, shall we say, “competition.”
And my personal favorite:
3. They must put food on the table for their families. By the time you buy all the equipment, drive all those miles and take the days off of work… plus paying to have the deer dressed and processed, and then stored, you’ll be wishing you’d taken your starving family down to the ol’ Food For Less instead. (Oh, and like every steak and ribs joint from Lacrosse to Pinconning isn’t packed to the rafters with hunters every night of deer season?)
My solution? Well, short of a total ban on “sport” hunting, which will never happen as long as the memory of Daniel Boone and Ronald Reagan remain alive, I would support a total ban on ANY hunting activity within at least a mile from ANY house, barn, highway, bike trail, hiking path, campground or other place where people and their pets might potentially be found. Yes, that DOES mean that you’ll probably have to travel to Greenland to find such a place.
Failing that, I vote that we at least make it fair. We do this by either of two methods:
1. Make hunters go into the woods completely naked. Require them to chase the deer down by foot, wrestle them to the ground with their hands and kill them with their teeth. (Dentures are permissible.)
2. Give the deer guns.
I can live with either one.
We were talking the other day at work, a group of us, about the coming apocalypse slated for December, 2012. We were discussing Earth-piercing asteroids, planetary fire storms, hail stones the size of Volkswagens and solar bursts of radiation that convert life into little piles of dusty carbon. Would the Greenland ice cap melt instantaneously, raising sea level by many feet - inundating the coastal cities of the world? Would food chains be diced up like onions? Would all sense of recognition cease t0 recognize?
I mentioned to the group that, quite frankly, given the options, I was looking forward to it. My basic plan is to: 1. convert all of my worldly wealth into a couple of large pizzas, a bottle of Johnny Walker Red and a bag of Mary Jane’s finest, and 2. set up a La-Z-Boy rocker on the rim of the Grand Canyon and await the show. To paraphrase Flounder in the movie AnimalHouse: “Oh boy, this is gonna be great!”
But a young woman in the group took issue with my stand.
“I’m twenty-four years old,” she complained, “I’m not ready for my life to end.”
I suggested to her that she was taking the short view. The Earth is 4.6 billion years old, I told her. In that time, uncounted bazillions of organisms have lived and died. But in that entire 4.6 billion years, SHE was fortunate enough to be here to witness the end of the world.
She should be honored.
But she wasn’t swayed. She wasn’t interested in being swept away by a solar wind that blows the planet clean like the tiny thistledown blown from a dandelion. She was unmoved by the spectacle of the ground cracking open and swallowing up cities whole. She was unconvinced that super storms, super volcanoes, and lots of other really super shit was a good thing.
Kids these days are so lacking in imagination.
They say that the Earth will become aligned in a perfect plain between the sun and the very heart of the galaxy. Forces of cosmic proportion sufficient to rip our planet to the core will be applied. The Earth may explode like a ripe cherry tomato, spilling earth guts out into space. The debris will cause a new era of chaotic collisions as the protoplanetformerly known as “Earth” again begins to sweep its orbit clean.
There’s nothing really new here. Extinction is a way of life. We all add it to our resume before it’s over; before the fat lady sings. When the Rocky Mountains crack open and the water table is released to rush down the Colorado River, it will fill the Grand Canyon to the rim and send me floating away in my La-Z-Boy. (Note to self: get a model with pontoons.) And in the end the Mayans will nod smugly, humankind will go the way of the trilobite, and the cockroaches (and maybe the Amish) will inherit the Earth.
And our reluctant heroine, the young twenty-four year old? She’ll probably have headphones on and miss the whole thing.
That was me. I was the one sitting bet-ween Thelma and Louise in the front seat of the dusty blue Thunderbird convertible as we
rocketed off the top of the red sandstone cliff and out into freedom. It was at that precise moment that we gave ourselves up to gravity, the three of us, and gasped in unison as we dropped beneath the rim of the canyon, out of sight and into the shade – weightless- awaiting the inevitable whistling slam of black.
That was me also - sitting next to Jacqueline Kennedy in 1963 when the big black Caddy pulled up beneath the Texas School Book Depository and hung a big sweeping left on to Elm Street before straightening out and heading for the triple underpass. She had just asked me if I had ever seen a more innocent autumn afternoon.
“No,” I replied, I hadn’t.
And I was there in 1876, riding in tight formation in a column behind General George Custer as we entered the valley of the Little Big Horn River. We were there to fight savages, to chase them from the Black Hills and from the continent once and for all. We had been ordered to wait for reinforcements but... they’re just a band of redskins.
“To the victors go the spoils!” bellowed Custer as we spurred our horses and approached the top of the ridge at a gallop.
And that was me grasping at nothingness and
feeling the blood rush to my head as United Airlines Flight 93 rolled upside down and picked up speed as it plummeted towards the oblivion of the Pennsylvania countryside. This was supposed to be an uneventful weekday flight to San Francisco, I kept thinking to myself.
And again, to black, I went.
© 2012, Jeff L. Howe, all rights (photos public domain)
There are few things as beautiful and as reassuring as the solid sound and feel of stepping into an incoming tennis ball, catching it on the rise and driving it back on a straight line about an inch above the net. You don’t hit the ball with your racquet; you hit it with your body.
I was something of a farm boy tennis champion in high school. Our rural Michigan school had nothing of a tennis tradition and was generally unable to compete with the Ann Arbors and North Farmingtons of the world. The courts served as parking lots in the winter and by spring they were oil-stained and filthy. The coach was a pleasant old history and civics teacher who had never picked up a tennis racquet in his life, but he made sure that the locker rooms were open and that we made it to our matches on time.
We, a half dozen of us, were a tight knot of dedicated athletes who were hell-bent on becoming tennis stars. We practiced religiously – working out until dark in the summer and getting up at 5:00am on cold Michigan winter mornings to hit balls in the gym. I lettered three years in tennis, was team captain and fought Larry Ortwine tooth and nail for the #1 singles slot. My main claim to fame was that I once took the brother of a former state champion to match point in the quarterfinals of the state tournament… before choking and eventually losing the match. No one from our school had ever made it that far.
High school is long gone but I’ve continued to love the sport and I camp out on the couch with popcorn whenever a major tennis tournament is on TV. Lately, my teen-age daughter and I have taken to the local courts for once-a-week hitting sessions, and the joy of playing tennis has seeped back into my old bones. Even though I can barely stoop to pick up a ball on the ground any more, I’ve become sufficiently inspired to attempt a major tennis comeback.
I mean, really, how hard could it be?
I’ll start out quietly with the Tuesday morning Geezer Leagues. I’ll lay low, rock the brackets and dispatch those bandy-legged old coots before they know what hit them. I’ll leave them chattering and complaining amongst themselves and nodding over in my direction. Eventually however, they’ll wander off to McDonalds for an extended breakfast and forget all about me.
Having won the senior tournament, as reigning Champion of All Geezers I’ll enter the County Open where I’ll sweep past the best of the high school stars, small-time collegians and local tennis pros in straight sets. Unfortunately this will put me on the radar, but it will also earn me a spot in a regional qualifying tournament.
At regionals, I’ll begin to run into some trouble… but only because the other players have younger legs, bigger serves and a better familiarity with the modern, large-headed composite racquets. I may just go ahead and lose the sectional championship game on purpose, so as not to draw more attention to myself – all the while gaining valuable ranking points. By July or August I should be ranked in the top five in the country… good enough to enter the official qualifying tournament for the U.S. Open.
Winning the U.S. Open at 62 years of age will be huge. The fact that an old man takes out Roddick, Federer, Nadal and Djokovic in successive five-set matches will be the talk of sports. I’ll be on the Jim Rome Show and SportsCenter. The uproar and media attention won’t die down for months, making it very difficult for me to concentrate on training for Wimbledon.
After the Wimbledon victory (using my old high school wooden racquet) life will explode. My face will be on Wheaties boxes. I’ll fly off on expeditions with Bono, I’ll wear specially designed Stella McCartney sun glasses and grant a series of exclusive interviews with Ophra in her plush high rise Chicago apartment. I’ll be spotted in a speedo in the South of France, walking on the beach with three supermodels and will be invited to Marlon Brando’s island for some mixed doubles. I’ll probably date Lady Gaga. And then at the height of all the excitement I’ll announce my retirement, write my autobiography and go off on a book tour.
I don’t know why I didn’t think of this earlier.
This story requires a photograph. A photograph would make it easier to convince you that what I saw was real. But unfortunately it would be a photograph that is virtually impossible to take. Not completely impossible – a tripod and a long exposure would probably capture something - but even if you could conquer the exposure there would be no way to portray the depth or the stillness or the majesty. This was a once-in-a-lifetime event: pure, three-dimensional, 360 degree, wonder in-the-round
I happened upon it last week by happy accident during a quiet midnight walk around the neighborhood on a hot, still, sticky mid-June night. There were no street lights, the sky was moonless and dark as coal. The temperature during the day had been in the high 90’s with heat indices well into the 100’s. Even at midnight the heat continued to radiate from the pavement.
There were fireflies flitting about, “Uncle Tim’s Fireflies” I call them, because they always peak around his birthday on June 16th. But on this particular night they weren’t near the ground, they mostly hovered in the trees. As I approached the empty lot I could see a strange light radiating from the clearing. And as I walked into the center of the lot I was struck speechless. I stood there for a few minutes in awe. I had never seen anything like this in my life before.
I returned to the house immediately and rousted the daughter, who had just gone to bed.
“Sweet Pea, get up, get dressed… quick, you’ve gotta see this!”
“Just come, you won’t believe it.”
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Our small Pennsylvania neighborhood was built upon a rounded limestone ridge in the middle of a tight meander in the river. It was laid out in the 1940’s and 50’s and then filled in in the 1960’s and 70’s. But with the exception of the occasional odd lot or major addition, development long ago passed it over and moved on. The bushes have become overgrown and the trees have become old and gentrified. Ignoring property boundaries, the collective yards have become a dense and mature forest of fat gnarly maples, stodgy oaks, blotchy sycamores, and tall aging tulips.
Just down the road, at the apex of the river bend, sits an empty lot. It is a low spot that floods spectacularly each time the river crests. As such, it is impossible to build on and so it stands empty and undeveloped. The trees of the forest spill down the hill until they meet the flood plain. There they end abruptly and are met by an ambitious understory of invasive species like ailanthus and bamboo that compete aggressively for space, knowing full-well that regardless of what does manage to catch on, it will likely be uprooted or buried by the silty muds of the next major flood.
Last summer a developer went in and spent a few days clearing out the underbrush in the empty lot and cutting sight lines down to the river. They left the big trees along the edge but cut down or bulldozed those on the flood plain. Out in the middle of the lot they built a retaining wall of large sturdy limestone boulders. Inside this wall they buried a layer cake of sand, stone and rock, tamping it down with large machines and spraying it heavily with water to collapse the soil and bind the layers together. It was leveled off at a height just above the top of the local flood plain. With more boulders and sand, large machines built an inclined ramp that connected the platform with the road above. Together these constructions form a sturdy (if not hastily placed) platform upon which someone may someday (foolishly) attempt to build a house. But it also provides a uniform, circular incision into the woods along the river.
▪ ▪ ▪
The daughter and I walked quietly down the road to the old lot where we opened the imaginary door and walked down the incline onto the platform in the center of the clearing.
In every direction fireflies were throbbing and cavorting. There were bazillions of them. And they were nowhere else around the neighborhood, they seemed to all be here at the empty lot and we were smack in the middle of it. It was a spontaneously-ordered, secret gathering of like-minded and genetically similar individuals for the purpose of celebrating in the midst of June.
It was a firefly flash mob.
“They’re not all the same you know,” says my daughter matter-of-factly, “each different species has its own frequency, brightness and pattern of flashes.” I look again and a new dimension is added. Now the flashes become urgent strings of information: phrases, sentences, and paragraphs. The world becomes like the inside of some fiber optic nerve – information traveling back and forth in every conceivable direction like a gigantic, three-dimensional microchip, transmitting pulses of light in complicated patterns.
It was as if a million bazillion bugs were reading the encyclopedia out loud and all at once. The forest was screaming at the top of its lungs but not making a single sound.
It was literally like being at the center of a gigantic 360 degree globe. It was a huge goblet, a glass basin of fireflies. There was no inside or outside; there was no upside, there was no downside. There was only near and far and then farther still as the flashing insects ripped messages back and forth like a zillion LEDs pulsating at the speed of nature. They were talking at a rate faster than an old man could watch.
I looked down to see my feet but they had disappeared behind the urgent flashing of fireflies in the grass. I had no feet, I had no arms. There WERE no feet and arms. We had become engulfed. There were only fireflies – infinitely in every direction.
You couldn’t photograph it, you surely couldn’t paint it. All you could do is stand quietly and experience it, taking mental notes and hoping that later (now) you might take your best shot at trying to describe it.
This is a once in a lifetime event, I told the daughter: “you’re right now seeing fireflies as good as they get; you’ll likely never see fireflies like this again. And if you DO… then you are a very lucky person.”
▪ ▪ ▪
The daughter and I stood there in silence for the longest time. Finally one of us spoke.
“Should we go wake Mom up?”
We looked at each other and then back at the flash mob.
“Yeah, we’d better.”