Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Gloucester Courthouse

We lose the privilege to be Free (Charles Evans Hughes)

Well, after shocking the pool, the frogs have gone onto greener pastures. Literally.  I am surrounded by water: watering the vegetable garden after a long, silent night of soaking up what I gave them yesterday, and cleaning the pool. They are very relaxing and quiet occupations, and remind me of my childhood.

I grew up in a very small town near the Chesapeake Bay. It's called Gloucester Courthouse, and we were too small to have a stoplight in town. One didn't go up until Interstate 17 cut the town in half. I don't visit now, the place I dream of still has no stoplight and it is still the town where I can ride my bike down the street, with no fear of cars in the way. 

Surely everyone has that place in their mind. I hope you do. Where the memory comes fiercest is walking along Tinker Creek in the darkling twilight. When the memories of the last light, and the scent from the creek reminds me what a fine thing it was to ride a bike, to fly, at the beginning of the evening. Mom and Dad and my brother Marc are waiting right over the hill in our house. It is light with the lamps Mom has lighted and smells of dinner and home and dreams.

Riding until the very last ray of sun was on the horizon and leaving the freeing darkness willingly to be enclosed by the light. It is the definition of nostalgia, where all bad things have gone and only the cover of dark and light remain. Only the flash of fireflies reminds me of the promise waiting in the house.

Time has changed that small town and me, but that memory remains unchanged and graceful. I am grateful for it. Many do not have that twilight dream.

I hope you do.

I have seen the memory clearly in the past several weeks, with the fireflies coming in again, and the croaking of the frogs. I miss the frogs now, but I want to become a water creature again. I love to swim at twilight and after the hottest of days. I love sharing that experience with the fireflies and the sounds of the darkness. I love sharing the light that streams from the houses near by.

All this comes back to me now, at 4 AM with the quiet of the early morning. I am wishing the world awake. I am waiting to talk to you.