Bluestone & Lichen Field

bluestone & lichen

The things he had loved were the things he had seen. And the things he had seen were so often the ordinary. He had once seen a shooting star shoot far across the sky in the Yucatán, so long he could say, “Look!” and his wife could turn her neck around and watch its burning glow burn across the night. He had watched the praying mantis babies, no bigger than grains of rice, dangling from dozens of threads, emerging downward from their cocoon in the middle of his backyard swamp as a wandering boy alone. He had seen herds of reindeer standing like a fields of stones in Lapland when he was a man. He had seen a single, small maple tree in the middle of the grass whose leaves had turned all red saying, “Fall!” He had seen the cobblestones of France, the cornfields of Wisconsin, and the beach sands of Monastir. He had seen the ferns’ patch moving across his yard for twenty years, the birch trees fall; and, up the hill, the multitude of sunspots glowing deep orange on the glowing brown-leafed ground. And he had even seen the wood thrush, that most reclusive of forest birds, sitting still just feet beyond his home, without song. He had been inside a cave in Pennsylvania once so deep within the earth that the beauty of lightless blackness he had seen that with his own eyes too. That cave might have been the most peerless vision of all, of all things in his life so far he had already seen.

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