I take a quick glance out my train window as we pelt along toward the city’s station. A plane comes into view, also headed south, probably to circle our cozy airport, Logan, with its rather short runways. I can see the plane banking left now; it will circle around, fly parallel to the north shore, turn again, and land. And even now as I look again, another takes off. They come and go with great regularity.
But there was another noteworthy sight out the window: standing at attention on the marsh grass we passed were two equally beautiful birds. Great Blue Herons were patiently waiting for breakfast to show itself. I thought about their wingspan when they take off, and found myself thinking ‘you fly beautiful, too.” Not grammatically correct, but true.
We’ve been back from our 1500 mile road trip for little over a week now, and it feels like it happened a month ago. The drive from New Mexico to Chicago was all we hoped for. The mountain meadows witnessed from the train ride, the lonely two lanes roads in the plains, some family time with the branch in Iowa, and yes, the pilgrimage to the “geographical center of the contiguous U.S.” were all wonderful respites from the East Coast everyday. “You know you’re in west Kansas when you can’t find an eatery for lunch and you don’t really mind” could be a mantra for me.
I’m not sad to be back, however, though in the train last week we were shoulder-to-shoulder in the seat for three so close we moved like a three-pack over the very rough ride. It’s good to be back in range of the marsh even though I am not walking the dog much these days: on the walk I did make over the weekend, we were treated to the Morse Code of an invisible woodpecker tapping out some kind of message. And although our faithful backyard swimming pool will have to come down this summer and the heat now rises, we are home to prepare for the coming semester and ride out the rest of August with the joys summer can bring. It even rained heavily yesterday; our barrels are once again full and we captured the extra in random pots we set out to “water harvest,” an action needed now but not quite native to these parts.
So on we go,then, into the heat index of today, with my fellow passengers on the train and the herons standing guard a few miles back. I hope with all the turbulence in our nation and world at this time, you are able to see something beautiful, and that it brings a ray of hope.