I got out of my car and closed the door. I stood there under the canopy of trees and listened for the longest time. It was like being in a concert hall of birds. I could decipher no human noises as I listened separating out each different bird sounds. I have this game I play at orchestra concerts where I isolate the sound of each separate instrument and follow it for a while throughout the concert. I think this game is the end result of listening to Sergei Prokofiev "Peter and the Wolf" on vinyl too many times at my grandmother's house. When the birds are this loud the air is really good and I took three really long slow deep breaths.
Last summer I took my children to Kentucky to do some caving. My father would always stop at caverns as they presented themselves in our travels and as a child it was like a magical world to me. We stayed in Cave City which was an extremely economically depressed area with one Mexican restaurant. There were four or five caves which were short drives from this town called a city. The most interesting thing about this place was the butterflies. In this economically depressed area the butterflies were so saturated that I had to drive slowly so that I would not hit one. Nature thrives where civilization dies I thought to myself pleased with my rhyme. The children and I canoed down Green River and the butterflies and dragonflies would land on us. I looked at my son at one point and he had three butterfies sitting peacefully on him. He sat frozen with his dancing eyes. My daughter had a pair of mating dragonflies land on her arm which I choose not to explore the meaning of that. The experience was enchanting. We found a butterfly that had been hit by a car. It's wing was broke but still quite alive. Sophie named it "Wishes" and we fed the creature sugar water for close to six days. She still has him in a box.
This morning I sit with my coffee on the back porch listening to the sound of the birds intermixed with weed eaters, cars, lawnmowers, humans calling cats, a jackhammer in the distance. As I breathe a deep breathe it is probably more that I know that the oxygen saturation is less here than in the wooded canopy but it really just feels different.