Monday, October 01, 2007

Snail Vision

I slid down to southern Indiana for a few days. The mosquitoes are still rampant in Michiana (don’t even think of rolling down the window while you’re waiting for the train), but down by McCormick’s Creek they’ve vanished. Everything is dry, dry, dry. No matter where I travel this year, the signs say “fire danger high,” sometimes “very high.”

The water in McCormick’s Creek is still flowing, but it’s shallow. The bigger fish are holed up in scattered deep-ish pools. I wish I knew their names. Next book purchase, a fish field guide. I’ve been reading Pilgrim at Tinker’s Creek for a while now. Like Dillard, I’m in no rush. I want to travel slowly enough to appreciate the fossils embedded in the creek bed, or all those black dots in the water that turn into snails in my hands, or the hawk (which one?) above the glade circling, circling, circling, until whoosh, a plummet, a meal, or the gray antennaed caterpillar crawling up the handrail (who in the heck is he/she going to be?). This must be the middle age craving for second childhood. I want to touch things, but this time with eyes patient enough to see.


Mark said...

I went hiking at McCormick's Creek once, it's a really nice park. As for second childhood... if you can still summon back your sense of wonder, you have survived the transfer to adulthood with your soul intact.

I've always been interested in nature, but like you I'm not well equipped to identify the more subtle species. If nothing else, I should really learn to name trees...

Rachel said...

This raises an interesting question for me. Is it possible to survive the transfer to adulthood with one's soul intact? I suppose first I would have to assume that a child's soul is intact...hmmm. This will take some thinking.