I positively ruined the dinner of a green heron on the creek last week. It was fairly young and fairly determined not to fly away, but not to be too foolhardy, either. So it had to keep an eye on me. I watched it for half an hour, during which time it stalked about in the creek moodily, expanding and contracting its incredible, brown-streaked neck. It made only three lightning-quick stabs at strands of slime for food, and all three times occurred when my head was turned slightly away.
Dillard has a habit of discovering things like giant water bugs sucking the life out of frogs and green herons hunting for breakfast. Perhaps it's because her mind doesn't seem preoccupied with everyday worries about work or school or brake jobs. She is totally present in the moment at Tinker Creek, open to anything that happens to cross her path. In the passage above, it happens to be a hungry green heron.
I'm sitting in McDonald's right now, having breakfast with my family. It's something we do every Saturday for a couple hours, just to get out of the house and talk without distraction. No television. No piles of laundry or bills to pay. We just claim a table and try to solve the world's problems.
I don't know if that's exactly the same as what Dillard does at the creek. There's a certain amount of living in the present on Saturday mornings. Plus, we aren't so focused on the little things. It's more about the big picture, thinking about next week, next month, next year. Concerns. Hopes.
Plus, there's a lot of green herons who come into McDonald's on Saturday mornings to feed, if you follow me. This morning, there were a lot of bicyclists because of a race happening today. I haven't seen so much spandex since the 1980s. From what I could tell, they were all carb loading before they hit the trails.
The weather in the Upper Peninsula has taken a turn to the misty and cool. Some rainstorms are supposed to move in this afternoon. It's the kind of day that makes me want to take a nap as soon as I wake up. A good book day. A sit-in-McDonald's-all-morning day. Perhaps we will come up with a solution to world hunger over our pancakes. Draft a Middle East peace accord on some napkins. Write the first paragraph of a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel on the back of a receipt.
Saint Marty is living in the moment, with all the herons around him eating their McMuffins.