Scene: I looked out my second-story window just now, and on the sidewalk below in the twilight, I saw a man—mid-20s, slender, complete with post-college facial hair that he surely finds impressive—waving quickly and intensely at someone in the distance. I craned my neck to see the wave’s target, only to find that the man, decked out in a full anorak with the hood raised, was waving at a solid wall of evergreen trees. I looked again. The man began to jump up and down, mouth moving furiously, waving insistently at what remained a group of evergreen trees. I cracked my window to catch a snatch of what he was saying, but by then, he had stopped (presumably) shouting and segued into a small, repeated wave pattern. The wave slowed and slowed, until it stopped altogether. The man put his anorak hood down and proceeded to walk in the other direction, a giant smile on his face. Just before I closed the window, a soft, whistled strain of “Whistle While You Work” drifted into my room, chillingly pitched and surprisingly quiet. One final glance at the wall of evergreens revealed nothing out of the ordinary, and the man continued on his merry way, no sign of the excitement that just took place anywhere to be found.
It was a lovely day in central Kentucky today: low-80s, partly cloudy, a light breeze. On my way home from work, I drove with my windows down and music cranked, surely making my fellow drivers crazy with my aerodynamic hand dances from my driver’s side window.
Now picture this:
I’ve just pulled off the freeway, and I’m driving down the exit ramp toward a recently-turned-red light. (There are two right-turn lanes and a left-turn lane here, and I am the only car on the ramp.) I glance up and see a large amount of ducks taking off from the small copse of trees to the right of the road. There must have been 40 or so, flying across the lanes right in front of the stop light. I remember thinking that the mass duck exodus was a little strange, but it wasn’t anything incredibly out of the ordinary. Continue reading
You ever have those moments where everything is just kind of perfect and you wish you could bottle it all up to relive over and over?
It’s the simple things for me. I came home from work and it was absolutely gorgeous outside: sixty-five degrees and sunny with a light breeze. I grabbed a lawn chair and sat outside on our porch (I use the term loosely; it’s basically a concrete slab) with a book, my iPod and a mug of tea.
And everything just worked out.
I found an excellently comfortable position to sit in, balancing my feet against a post and leaning back in my chair. My tea was warm and soothing while birds flitted nearby, chirping back and forth, enjoying the weather in their own right. Gavin Creel’s Quiet EP hummed softly in my ears, the acoustic ballads the perfect soundscape for the gradually darkening sky. The air smelled crisp and fresh, despite it being late February. I read bits of Dan Chaon’s Await Your Reply off and on (when I wasn’t occupied by watching squirrels, birds and the neighbor’s dog) and I happened to be reading a section where a main character waxes nostalgic on Cleveland, his childhood home, namedropping locations near and dear to my heart. Children a few houses over were playing in the yard, shouting happily and occasionally crying for a few brief seconds. I got lost in thought tangents, thinking about birdsong, science and beauty. The air started to cool and rain clouds began to move in just as the EP ended and I reached a stopping point in my book. I went inside and couldn’t stop smiling.
It just seemed like the world burned brighter for that little half-hour. All at once, it was wistful, nostalgic, honest, refreshing, pensive, amusing, beautiful…