You know how Annie Dillard can write about a blackbird and make you wish you had one to come in the window at night and claw you into epiphany? She can turn a minor eclipse into a life-defining event. When I read her work, I of course think of Thoreau and Wordsworth and the like and the amazing abilities of writers like these to interact with and then dramatize nature so profoundly on the page.
Living in Whatcom County’s Sudden Valley, I have green 100-foot trees in my yard, bluebirds nesting in my rafters, lakes I can easily walk to, and deer regularly looking in at me through my basement office windows.
You’d think I’d have it in me to pen a nature-inspired line or two, or at least try. Yet day after day I look out my window and self-confess my irritation that the tree in front of my house looks the same as it did yesterday, and it’s muddy down by the lake and I don’t want to get my shoes dirty again, and I already saw that deer that is now making my dog bark, which echoes in my cave-like office to the point of hurting my ears. “Go away, deer,” I say. I never give them apples.
And. There. Are. Rats. Continue reading