Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I have two holes in my backard,each one dug by a child of mine at an age when digging holes was still fun. I filled them up with water, plopped a few fish in them, and spontaneous generation took care of the rest.

Wiggly red worms, squirming ostracods, larvae of all sorts. Dragonflies thrust their asses to the sky like tiny winged mandrills. A muskrat spent its last hours in my son's pond--I doubt it drowned, but its carcass confirmed its death.

While the economy hums along, while trades get made, folks consume, and as we continue our descent that will make lemmings look prescient, I must confess that I wile away sunny mornings staring at ponds. Oh, I might contribute to the local economy by downing an ale or two (no sense wasting time), but mostly I just sit and watch.

Late spring I played God and altered the local flora--I bought 3 sprigs of elodea. I use them in biology class, and I figured I could grow some over the summer. Like similar projects on a much larger scale, introducing a new species tipped things over a bit, and frogs can now walk over the pond barely moistening their toes.

No new lessons there.

In late June, on a particularly bright day, I noticed bubbles coming from the pond. It's not unusual to see the pond burp now and then--muck builds up on the bottom, and the mud belches some methane

This was different--it looked like a string of champagne bubbles, tiny but furiously active. The top of the pond had pockets of fine foam.


I (rather pedantically) ran off to tell my son, then I tried to write. "Awe" does not fit the cerebral cortex well. It's a funny word, and the jaw drops when it is spoken. If the limbus had a conscious vocabulary, "awe" might be its second entry (right after "angst").

I still cannot find the right words. Meanwhile, I'll stare at bubbles.

1 comment:

artichoke said...

Re: I have two holes in my backard,each one dug by a child of mine at an age when digging holes was still fun.

This made me smile ...we used to have many holes in the back garden of the house we lived in when the kids were little ... the new place is built over a lava flow so large hunks of scoria rock just below the surface makes digging difficult and the kids are a lot older now ... the labrador digs alone

...still last month we buried Grandpa's ashes under an olive tree in the garden and the now young adult grandsons were charged with digging the hole.

We had to force them to stop ... they had so much fun - eventually lying full length and excavating the hole, clambering inside to heave out great scoria slabs ...planning where to put the crow bar for best leverage ...

Hole digging is one of life's purest pleasures