100 words (more or less) · writing

Summer Night

The darkness folds down in satin layers, summer softening the transition into night. Cotton clouds flash and flicker along the horizon, and a few stray fireflies drift through the humid air, signaling back to the distant storm. The clicking, murmur, and chatter of frogs and insects fills the trees. 

High in the sky, the bright spot of Jupiter waits for the waning moon to come for a late-night rendezvous. 

The hours pass and the excitement of dusk settles. The stuttering call of the Barred Owl comes out of the forest beyond. Its round, welcome, and deep-voiced repetitions reassure me—all is well. 

100 words (more or less) · writing

Mowing

Grass, vines, clover, prickly thistle, orange jewelweed, swamp lilies, burrs, and bright-red wild strawberries grow by the river. Black wasps with long, shiny bodies circle lazily around the brambles and the buds—faeries flitting, untroubled, over this tangled mess of a kingdom. 

August is probably much too late to think of mowing this forgotten patch of land where rabbits, groundhogs, frogs, wild turkeys, and deer have made themselves at home.

I push the roaring, sputtering machine just enough to appease the neighbors—the citrusy scent of cut herbs and damp earth filling the air—and leave the rest for the inhabitants who actually live here. 

100 words (more or less) · writing

Neglected Path

The grass is thick and long here, whispering against my footsteps as I follow the neglected path. There has been too much rain, and water has made the earth silty soft. Sticky mud cakes my shoes and may never come off.

I don’t mind. 

The wondering is enough to urge me on—skirting the edges of the flood, threading into the trees and around the dark, expanding pools. White moths flutter past, the flame crown of a Pileated Woodpecker darts from trunk to trunk, and the decaying bones of a frog wait patiently for the wild to take them home. 

100 words (more or less) · writing

Fog

Fog softens the bare branches and sits heavy on the forest floor. The trees fade layer by layer into the distance and the land uproots itself—imaginary islands floating in a soft dream world.

We could be anywhere. Even the most familiar paths are new and alive with mystery. Unknowing, we have slipped into the thin places, where wild things dwell.

Time expands in the fog. There is no sun to mark the hours. There is only what we choose to do with our steps as our feet move through the damp, rustling leaves. 

100 words (more or less) · writing

Wild Roses

Wild roses grow in tangles beside the river and imbue the air with sweetness. Their scent is soft, mellow, friendly—it does not have the sting of manufactured perfume.

The flowers are five pink petals open wide around a sunburst of yellow. They do not grow in tight, layered spirals on rigid stalks. Instead they climb in laughing sprays of leaves and buds, their winding vines bursting with the excitement of bumblebees.

They are a secret folded into the curves of the river, a delight as I glide past in the grey, early hours.

100 words (more or less) · writing

Pouring

Rain, rhythmic on a taut umbrella—the stretched canvas too small to keep water from soaking the soft fabric of my coat. The legs of my slacks, drenched and dragging, and the grey sky unrelenting as the rain sheets down in heavy curtains. Spray comes up with each passing car—hulking bodies skidding and weaving as they barrel too fast into pools too deep.

Rain, so full of being-ness that doing-ness feels empty.

I shake off the umbrella and come inside. I shed my rain-heavy coat at the door, open the windows, and the pouring down murmurs in my ears all day.