Until Thursday, it’d been a coon’s age since I’d looked at the river thinking I have to be in you. Until Friday, I hadn’t heard a snipe* since the last mating season. Until the heat wave, I hadn’t exposed my blindingly white skin to the elements since the earth tilted me away from the sun. Until Saturday, I hadn’t swept the garage for a year. Until Sunday, my butt hadn’t hit a bike seat in a month of . . . Sundays. Until the light started hitting just this way, I could only dream of the sound of peepers. Until this past weekend, I hadn’t had a gin and tonic on Paul’s porch in months. Until the high water and rising temperatures, I had never seen a muskrat really riding the current of the stream, tail relaxed: temporary bodysurfer of the valley. Until last night, I hadn’t slept with the windows open in a blue moon.
*Do not let some camp counselor or elementary school teacher take you on a snipe hunt, then tell you there’s no such thing as snipe. These people aren’t malicious—simply ignorant. You may have been on a wild goose chase, and real snipe are elusive. But many things that are elusive are real.