Meditations While on the Eno River
Over the years I have seen many animals in the park: white-tailed deer, otters, and raccoons. I’ve seen dozens of male monarch butterflies puddling in pools of shallow water, taking in the minerals and salts that come from the mud. Once, years ago, I was paddling upstream from the Pleasant Green put-in, before the dam was torn down and, in the early spring, witnessed perhaps a hundred large black birds perching in the trees. These birds were much larger than crows, and they were quiet except for the occasional rustling of their immense wings as they settled and unsettled on the limbs of sycamore, birch, and hornbeam. It was a magical moment that I will never forget. I sat in my kayak and watched them for thirty minutes, mesmerized by their sheer size and beauty.
by Robert Wallace
Iowa Blues. and Greens
Mom says, wistful, “I wanted land, gardens. I wanted my kids to run barefoot, and climb trees.”
She didn't want a double-wide mobile home trailer, even if it is the yellow of lemon pie.
She wanted an old farmhouse with lace curtains drifting and billowing, parting to reveal glimpses of the sun, a wild orange, melting into our sea.
by Summer Hammond
Lost in Solitude
It is disquieting to think about total aloneness, the absence of relationships, the disconnection from family, from blood. In the encroaching darkness, I will myself to not dwell in this black well of dread. Rather, I focus on how solitude encourages me to feel strong and capable of caring for myself.