Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bugs on water

After talking with you last night about bugs I remembered a magic moment with the real world I'd had recently.

I was kayaking by myself on the Concord River on an overcast but clearing day in mid-late Fall.

I was heading Southeast and the sun peeking through the suddenly clear sky was behind me and beautifying things up something special. It was in the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge and the golden softness where the sun hit the brown-red bushes and the black-gray shadows they threw on both sides of the river were captivating. Added to that, it was totally still and the wide water in front of me was a huge, endless mirror of gray-black trees, a few dark red leaves, sky, and clouds. I could see high jets leaving arrow-straight contrails in the water in front of me.

I was captivated by the ripples set off by my bow and how they became parabolas in the black, blue, and white picture of the sky I was paddling through. Following one of these I saw a miniature sight that literally made me sputter at the beauty of it. There seemed to me to be no wind, but a tiny spider had spun one thread that drifted up into the air and became a kite for him. He was skating on the surface tension of the water, being pulled along at what must have seemed an incredible speed. The sun glinted off his long kite-thread.

It's hard to read bugs' expressions, but this little guy seemed to not have a care in the world. Sure he would have liked his thread of spider-silk to catch on a bush so he could start a web and catch other insects. But this wasn't the highest priority. Maybe he would never reach shore ... it was a wide river after all.

Editorial: that's one reason why I love kayaking, that you can see stuff like this. Our neighbor in Sedgwick once observed that sometime when she sees me go kayaking I just stop after a little bit and don't do anything for a while and then take off again. I told her that's absolutely right, I need to slow down once in a while and give myself time to start perceiving the incredible detail that's around us constantly.

No comments:

Post a Comment