The other night Lucy and I are snuggled in bed on the porch. We talk in hushed tones as we listen to the night noises. Riley has already toddled of to bed, as well as the rest of the house, except the cats who keep strange hours.
The crickets sang and I told her how much I had missed being out in the country. "I could never get used to town," I explained, "All the people and the traffic." I told her how uncomfortable it always made me feel living in a land of blacktop and concrete, where you couldn't see the stars. I told her about the birds I watched catching their breakfast of worms from the yard.
They would glide down from the powerlines and look around, peck at the ground once or twice, then look around again, always on the watch for predators. Then, low and behold, in a single peck, they would produce an earthworm of prodigious size that hung from their beak like an enormous walrus mustache. Then the bird would drop the worm as if it didn't really want it.
It would look around a bit more, then return to it's pecking. After repeating this over and over, it would clasp half of the worm in it's beak as if it had it's mustache shorn for church on Sunday, then fly off to enjoy it's meal. A little later, it would return for the other half.
I told her about the wind off the lake that smelled like morning dew and wet leaves. I told her about the biggest, fattest groundhog I have ever seen that the cat had followed through the yard. The cat had no idea what to make of it and the groundhog ignored his sniffing at his tail as if he were no more than a passing bug. I swore to her how the 'hog had been as big as a collie dog and must have been three feet tall as he stood on his haunches to smell the air.
"I've lived in Columbus, Cleveland, and Canton and I never felt at home in any of those places. The people live on top of each other and the only tree you ever see is some decorative bush that looked like it didn't belong. The only bird you ever saw was a pigeon, and even the sparrows looked sad to be there." I sighed.
Lucy snuggled a little closer and adjusted her night-blanky, then we talked about the seasons and what we liked best about them. "I like Spring," she said matter-of-factly, "because I like to hear the rain at night when I fall asleep. I like Fall because of all the golden colors, and Winter because the snow makes everything beautiful."
Neither one of us was crazy about Summer, as it was too hot and the bugs bit, but it was good for camping and swimming.
I pulled her a little closer and said how glad I was to see her. She laid her head on my chest and we breathed in the night air.
Then she sat up and looked at me, "Do you feel that this has brought out your Inner-Hillbilly?"
I suppose it has.