It’s hot in the house. We’re in the middle of the great midwestern drought of 2012 – here on July 12 we’ve had approximately 0.1″ of rain since the beginning of May. I’m learning now that the absence of moisture in the region’s soils allows the daily temperatures to rise unmoderated, so our daily highs are more easily reaching the 90s even though the nights descend to delicious low 60s.
We’re about 3 weeks past the summer solstice, but living here on the western fringe of the Eastern time zone, our July twilights extend well into the 9 o’clock hour and beyond. Now, approaching 10 o’clock, the cool sets in with the brilliant blue/black of receding day and gradually the averted eye catches planets and then stars in the sky (always interesting to note that averted vision is more sensitive to faint light that direct vision…maybe that’s true in some metaphorical sense as well?).
Through the screens and open windows (resisting turning on the air conditioning), the insects in the woods make their high, continuous whine; then, listening closer, I hear the spectrum of frequencies and overlapping signals – that which I first thought was a one-dimensional stream is a three- and four-dimensional orchestral arrangement for an unseen audience. Who else is listening and who responds? Listening closely to these noises and imagining lives lived, I recognize how little I understand what goes on in my backyard.
Same with our daughters. There are so many signals we want to make sure they receive amongst all the others available to them; some are basic instructions met with frustration when not followed, others could be life lessons if the connection is made. Among other things, I want Mack to come out with me for a ride around the lake on the tandem or on the lake in the canoe – time outside with me, the sun, water and wind. But for now, she resists, refusing to align with my ideal of what a great time that will be. Maybe in a day or a week if I don’t push too hard, she’ll come with me. And I want the same for Alex, continue to show her facets of the world she might not have known otherwise – such is the infinite potential of parenting that I too-rarely slow down enough to act on.
And their time with us is like this one night, so I’m out here in the woods, desperately calling, happily willing to call all night, hoping they hear and respond before the sun comes up in the morning.