What Is Glimpsed

It’s rained almost every day for a week, and we haven’t mowed, so the grass stands five inches or taller in the fields, and that’s not counting the long gauzy stretches we’ve let go wild to offer the bees their due of clover and dianthus.

Walking the dog the other day—in silence, since we both know the route—I noticed a shimmering movement in the grass before me: a little thin milk snake, a pale stripe on its dark back, slithered away in the grass, inches before my boots. I haven’t seen a snake on our land in over a year, and I was pleased for this sighting, however brief, which reminded me, among other things, that we are surrounded by much that we can’t see or that we simply overlook.

This is a loud time in New Hampshire. On weekends and sunny evenings, motorcycles roar past with radios blaring loud enough to be heard a couple of blocks away. Two nearby race tracks offer their own distinct varieties of noise: the dragway emits repeated throaty crescendos while the NASCAR track serves up a persistent up-shifting and down-shifting hum. And in the land of Live Free or Die, citizens set off their own fireworks for weeks on either side of Independence Day. Usually they’ll wait until dark, but occasionally a mild afternoon will be punctuated with an percussive boom that echoes off the tree line.

I enjoy a good fireworks show, and I don’t begrudge anyone their enjoyment of racing, but I am thankful for these these moments when walking (not driving) through a meadow (not a track or roadway) I discover nature in miniature showing itself, and I am attentive enough to notice.

There’s a lurking, slithering, whispering world out there, and too often we miss it.