We parked by the sand dunes and trekked out along deer paths to my favorite spot—along a corner of pines planted as a Depression era public works project, on the edge of a tall grass prairie. White tail deer bed down in the soft needles that line the ground under the pines, and it’s no wonder why: it is beautiful and safe in this place, the air is calm, the ground is dry; it is private and sun-warmed.
This is where we feasted on our North Indian deli picnic, where we both laid down to listen to the birds and amorous frogs until the sunlight began to fade and the air chilled.
Home again, home again. The storms had been forgotten, but we had our reminder driving north toward a sooty sky. They were heading west, though, not toward us; at home, the animals were still ranging about, dogs loping through the yard, cats guarding the chickens. I stood on the dock watching the shadows of catfish moving just below the surface in the murky water, and something seemed important about both the divide between our two worlds and the illusory contact.
The barn cat came out and watched them with me.