Connecting Critters

Living this moment

When Chris Locke sent around an email containing the photograph and words found in this post, I wrote an email in reply:

I am probably getting old, and losing whatever I once had of any delicate sensibilities, but I can’t help thinking that dreams are wonderful when walking quietly by yourself in the woods; keeping you company as you reflect on what once was. They suit the drip of the water from the leaves, and the smell of rich, old dirt and the song of birds not quite seen.

But then I think I would rather get in my car and go home and be met with something real and tangible–someone I can wrap arms around and exchange garlicky kisses with after a nice dinner.

True, dreams never fade or get older; there are no shadows or harsh lines, and the light doesn’t glare, but instead glows with a lovely, inner light. Dreams don’t sag or get lumpy or wrinkly, or cranky. But you can’t reach out and touch a dream. You can’t move your finger down a dream’s face, or hold a dream’s hand. When you sneeze, it doesn’t go bless you, or bring you broth when you’re in bed, sick. It doesn’t laugh at a dumb joke, because though you might see your dream, it doesn’t see you.

Imperfect reality. I think I would rather have imperfect reality.

Like I said, I’m probably getting old, and losing whatever I one had of any delicate sensibility.

Tonight I was late leaving for my nightly walk and the weather was very warm and very humid. Once there, I put on my headphones, not being interested in listening to birds, and set off at a brisk pace. I made my circuit in record time, feeling good about the walk, but not good from the walk.

Leaving, I started to drive by a lump of dirt by the side of the road, when the dirt moved its head and I realized it was a small turtle.

This is the first I’d seen a turtle in Missouri though I know there are several varieties. I also wasn’t that familiar with it’s type–it had a softish looking shell and mottled markings, head stuck up in the air. I wished for my camera, but then reminded myself that I don’t have to capture for posterity every interesting moment that happens.

The turtle put me in a better mood–there was something about that defiant tilt of her chin; it was the first time I’d seen a pugnacious looking turtle. I looked at her and she at me, and that’s the way I want it to stay… Instead of rushing home, I took my time, driving in the warm summer evening with the windows down and wind mussing my hair, listening to music; I even stopped by at the library for a new stack of books. When I arrived home, it was late dusk and I was thirsty so I started to hurry up the steps to my home. Turning the corner, I found the area in front of our door was full of fire flies.

I stopped dead and watched them as they flickered around the bushes and trees, and even a curious one or two, around me.

When I finally returned to my computer tonight, I found that Chris, showing bright glimmers of his old rakish self, had posted a reply to my email, in true Rageboy form. He a bad boy, that Rageboy, but it’s nice to see him poking his head out of his shell. And I won’t even snap my whip at him.

No, no! Not the whip! Anything but the whip.



The whip! The whip!

By the way, I found a reference to the turtle I saw earlier. Chris, this turtle is for you.

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