|A took a nice wild brown that slipped out of the net in my old stomping ground of Appalachian State last Sunday morning. It ate an October caddis pupa. It was a reminiscent trip a day after I wrote the reminiscent lines below.|
Two years ago I took my first sip of muscadine wine and I was instantly transported to the row of large leafed grape vines that stood between my grandfather’s garden and wooded, weathered tool shed. Today, the staccato clicks of grasshoppers overpower the subtle mid-afternoon chirps of crickets, and I am returned to a long sandy section of gravel driveway from my childhood. This portion of road parted two hayfields, and I would walk its half mile length from the bus to my house in elementary school. Grass and dandelions separated the left tire worn path from the right, and I ofen drifted towards the deeper, softer sand of the left side of the road. As I would draw closer to the edge of the woods, where the road steeply lifted through a tunnel of pine and poplar, each of my small steps forward would send grasshoppers flying from the sun warmed sand which had settled there after years of runoff. They would disappear into thousands of sparsely spaced, slender stalked, purple heads of fescue that draped either side of the road. The image of painted grass hoppers dispersing like water before the bow of my third grade body is a clear one; but it’s the sound of those few crickets, chirping not at night, but in full sun, that evokes emotions of the imminent change at hand. Summer dwindles, and the noisy green of leaf and insect will soon give way to the gray silence of winter. At this part of the walk home I would have already discarded the meaty remnants of the apple I pulled from a tree in the heavy laden orchard a quarter of a mile back, and it’s sweetness would linger like the blue haze that softened Mt. Pisgah’s distant silhouette over the falling field to my left.
Nearly 30 years later, I sit shaded by birch and tulip poplars, pond side and fifty miles from my childhood home in the mountains. Bass and bluegill regularly disturb the quite, as they snatch stray grasshoppers from the still surface water. And there are crickets. You can hear them, mid-day chirping, beneath the birds, hopper clicks, and breeze. The crickets call me to that dirt road, to a season, to God. These are the good days. These are the dying days. My hope is in the Creator and Renewer. Have mercy on me, oh Lord.
Other Images from the Boone, NC Area