Night risings and fallings filled my mind, free excursions carried out invisibly while the air swung up and back and the starlight rained. By day I had watched water striders dimple and jerk over the deep bankside water slowed by the dam. But I knew that sometimes a breath or call stirs the colony, and new forms emerge with wings. They cluster at night on the surface of their home waters and then take to the air in a rush. Migrating, they sail over meadows, under trees, cruising, veering towards a steady gleam in a flurry of glistening wings: "phantom ships in the air."
Dillard watches with night risings and falling with her characteristic curiosity. In Tinker Creek, she watches bugs walking on the water, witnesses hatches of colonies of winged insects. They swarm and boil on the pond's surface, and then they launch like fireworks over meadows and trees.
Tonight, I will be attending a fireworks display one town down from me. The community gathers by the lake, and there's music and food and pony rides. Some bad garage bands, sometimes. Of course, there are vendors hawking pizza and bratwurst and ice cream. And, at dusk, the rockets start rising.
It's the end of a week-long celebration called Pioneer Days. This morning, I ran the annual two-mile race organized by the local chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters. I was slow, slow, slow, but I still managed to take first place in my age group. Then, there was the parade. A huge assembly of trucks and floats and ambulances and firetrucks. Lots of Tootsie Rolls being tossed at kids.
It's been a good day, and it will be a relaxing night, sitting on blankets by the beach with family a friends, waiting for the sun to set. And then glistening wings of light in the sky, to steal an image from Dillard.
Saint Marty's feet are sore, but his heart is full.