Monday, May 18, 2009

Never Say Never (or "Enjoy the Little Things")

I have lived in different regions of the country, from the Pacific Northwest to Southern California, from the Midwest to the East Coast, and also in different types of areas, from country suburban to very city suburban, back to very country suburban and back again to city suburban.

Over the years, we have traveled much of our beautiful country. On our recent trip back to Kentucky, I caught myself saying something that I've said so many times, "Look. Those people live so close to the freeway. I wouldn't want to live so close to the freeway." Only one problem with that comment: We do live "so close to the freeway".

When we discovered this apartment community last spring, it was everything we wanted and didn't have at our then-current apartment complex: convenient to public transportation, church, library, stores, so we signed up for the waiting list...and soon were accepted. And then I looked it up on the map and realized that we had overlooked that dreaded thing...a freeway. We are probably the equivalent of one to two football fields distance away from a steady stream of trucks and cars, flowing by all hours of the day and night and all seasons of the year...just far enough not to identity and admire the makes, just close enough to be annoying.

However, we have a veritable forest of deciduous trees between us and the freeway. This means that in spring and summer, if the weather permits us to open the windows for fresh air, we can only hear the traffic, not see the vehicles going by. In fall and winter, though, we can look out and decide if we want to join the flow...or take a different route. And I can look out from my balcony and dream of traveling.

But that's not all we can hear and see from our balcony. We can sometimes hear geese...and I have seen my favorite childhood birds, the robins; pesky starlings; my favorite winter birds, the red cardinals; and, the other day, I saw a hummingbird. Last summer I was thrilled to see fireflies, which I hadn't seen for a couple of years, and which had so delighted me when we moved from the West to the Midwest. So...they live in the East, too, I marveled.

Squirrels proliferate at any time and I see plenty of deer in season, especially in the wee small hours when I am taking one of my sons to work. I've seen a few foxes; spotted a couple of raccoons, foraging near the dumpsters; and I've seen something low and chubby that I couldn't identify, with a big tail...could it be a beaver?

Today, wonder of wonders! I saw a flying squirrel! I was so excited! And yes, Virginia, there really are flying squirrels. They simply don't live in the West (at least as far as I know.) Well, after my sighting, I looked up flying squirrels on the internet and yes, that's what they are called and no, they don't exactly "fly". They glide. Yes, that is what it was doing! It was gliding - with its feet out like wings and its bushy tail floating out behind him.

I still sometimes wonder how people can live by the freeway. If you have the windows open or step outside, the noise just never stops. My dream is not to live here for the rest of my life. But it works for us for now, and I enjoy the little things about where we live. Come to think of it, maybe they aren't even so little. Some of you know that I get very excited when I see beautiful classic cars. However, I got even more excited today than I would seeing a great Corvette or Thunderbird. Human engineers can make great designs. But only the Great Engineer could make a flying squirrel.


Anonymous said...

I'm jealous. Somehow, I think seeing a flying squirrel is so much better than seeing a flying cockroach. It elicits a nicer emotion if you know what I mean.

Weelie said...

Lovely, Mary Margaret. You have that gift of writing so that others can see. Vision comes in so many forms: so taken, some blessed, some pregnant with awakening. Keep showing us life in living words!

Margaret Mary Myers said...


Thank you so much for the encouragement about writing.