Ephemera

I used to have an unusual Sunday routine.  Early in the morning I would drive my daughter to the Aquatic Center for diving instruction.  I would then continue on farther into the suburbs until I got to my parent’s home.  We would have a cup of tea together, my mom, dad and I, and then I would take my mom for a drive before heading back to pick up my daughter at the pool.

My mom was already fairly home-bound, but she loved to go to “her park.”  She might feel like walking the short trail circuit around the nature center, hoping to see a dun colored deer camouflaged in the brown leafy forest.  Or she might just sit in the car and see what we might see driving slowly down the lane.

We did this for many weeks, over all the seasons.  The same nature center parking lot, same small trail head, same short trail.  Any nature lover will tell you that you will never be bored if you pay attention; that the natural landscape is always changing, always telling you stories you didn’t know before.

One spring morning my mom didn’t feel up to walking but we sat on a bench for awhile in the weak morning sun, in the cool, fresh air.  As we got up to walk the few yards to the parked car we passed a small area between the nature center and the woods that had been allowed to grow out as meadow.  We both stood there, amazed.  Between each blade of tall grass, each wildfower stalk, was a silvery spider web.  Thousands of them, glimmering in the morning dew, lit by the angle of the morning sun.  Why were they all there in that one small spot?  Some new hatch, some perfect combination of conditions?

In a few minutes the sun would move, the dew would evaporate and they would all be invisible.

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