A Bit of Nostalgia
Bill Linn - North IdahoOftentimes I catch myself reminiscing — lately, more often than not. Only yesterday I heard a redwing blackbird calling from the willows along the slough below my house. Closing my eyes, I was whisked away once again to the days of my youth. I was chasing around the millpond, beside the rivers, and up and down the dusty roads in Tom Sawyer fashion.
Then, drifting on to another time, another place, I heard the calling of a whippoorwill from the woods across a field of sedge — just beyond that ancient fence of rail and stone. And in the new, warm evening dusk a foggy mist had gathered in the low places, adding a special aura to the sound of foxes barking along the creek.
The moon had risen from its hiding place among the hills. Those slight clouds scudding across her face seemed to suggest a smile — as if she was pleased with herself for once again chasing the bitter sun into the horizon and beyond.
From a piney ridge to the West came the call of the great horned owl. He fluffed his feathers and stretched his wings, then sailed out into the slivery moonlight, pumped up to an altitude that gave command of the terraces curling lazily around the pond. From here he struck terror in the little field mouse and kangaroo rat as they scurried about looking for tender buds and shoots.
And just beyond that mound of sticks and mud, the muskrat left a trailing arc of gentle wake that slowly washed into the reeds, causing moonbeams to dance their way up to the very muzzle of a timid deer pausing to drink.
I saw the fireflies as they went — marking out a pattern on the warm night breeze, a breeze that caused a murmur among the leaves of the locust trees.
I heard the night sounds of the katydid, the cricket, the tree frog in the well-house, and all the little flying creatures - blending together in a symphony that rose slowly in volume until it could no longer go unnoticed.
Yes, my friend, nostalgia is the bitters that comes of change, so often accompanied by a lump in the throat - the welling of tears as the soul weeps for those moments to once again be real. The vagaries of the past, they come and go, leaving me with those distant scenes that catch and pull upon the very corners of my heart.