A Coexistence Unlike Any Other


A pump jack goes about its business, carefree of anything beyond its task. A haze forms not long after sunup. The anemometer on the weather station sits still, a rare event. Fat squirrels struggle to chase one another, and there is a sense that winter is near an end more than a beginning. Of course, this is Texas, and this time of year snow and heat can occur within the same 24 hour period.

I’ve been testing a few night photography apps with my smartphone over the last week or so. Below are a couple of my first attempts:


The snapshots look promising on the small screen, grainy when enlarged, but it’s a start. That’s the constellation Orion rising behind the trees in the bottom picture.

The cattle have eaten most all of the good grass down about as far as they can, while stands of switch grass remain along with the love grass. Most all the flora is in hibernation; the land is full of shades of brown, very little green if any remains.

A nest of some kind hangs high up in a tree across a pasture: a squirrel’s, or hawk’s; it’s difficult to say. What a view that home must have and how cold it must be on certain days now exposed to the winter wind.

The land is growing dry quickly again. No amount of rain staves off such conditions for long anymore. The dirt is beginning to turn to dust, like a fine powder that is easily tossed into the air when driven across. It lingers for a great number of minutes thereafter.

A squirrel sneaks his way upon the porch to my left, darting off before I can take a picture. All the animals are a little more curious than they were when Old Frosty dog was around. It’s rather enjoyable to walk across the yard while the rabbits, squirrels, and birds play, eat, or drink, though the possum still runs away, when it senses someone approaching.

For the first time in years, the mice are not as present, an explanation perhaps lies in an increasing abundance of coyotes in the county over the last several years. As this year of the total solar eclipse across America draws toward a close, I can’t help but think about darkness and light, the two seemingly merging as one. A coexistence unlike any other.

Sometimes shadows can fool a mind into believing they are more than their source. It’s a fault in our own making, perhaps as rooted in ignorance as biology. We exist, after all, because of darkness and light. Just as a drought is purged by torrential rains, so, too, is darkness purged by light. We are all creatures of a symbiotic existence that leaves me wondering if it isn’t better to ebb and flow, than to drown, having never known a complete existence.