A Missouri Memory

Hummingbirds are fantastical creatures. I was sitting outside on a sweltering and humid Missouri afternoon, listening to the wall of sound that is the chorus of a multitude lovelorn cicadas when, out of thin air, a hummingbird materialized just in front of me, gave me a look that suggested I was a scandalous waste of space, then dematerialized again. Honestly, they're like something out of Star Trek, popping in and out of empty space, sometimes with a slight blur and a whirr, usually with just a beady eye. Sometimes, in the manner of Carroll's Cheshire Cat, the beady eye seems to remain for a moment when the rest of the bird has gone.

Then later, still outside, in the sultry night, I sat watching the fireflies against the stars, listening to the cicadas and frogs. Sure, it was hot and humid, but it was also magical and mysterious and very, very beautiful.