From the cabin in rural Kentucky...
I have never been good at choosing favorites.
My youngest child always said that his favorite subject was “lunch.” That same child, long grown, sometimes announces himself with “Hi Mom, it’s your favorite son.” Favorites are of course a no-no of parenting, as if it would be possible to choose anyway.
On my fourth day of complete relaxation, as I enjoyed a third cup of coffee on the screened porch of our cabin on the lake in Kentucky, I pondered the question of favorites. “Is morning or evening my favorite time at the lake,” I thought. It occurred to me that it was a luxury to have the opportunity to have nothing better to do than ponder the best times of day. Here's why it is impossible to choose:
- Dew falls from the trees, making tinkling sounds on the tin roof long before daylight.
- The mist hesitates on the lake until the sun rises high enough – after 9:00 – to begin to burn it off.
- The lake is still and clear as glass, stirring only after a breeze announces itself with the rustling of leaves.
- Water birds sometimes visit – most mornings it was a great blue heron who did not like being disturbed by woman and dog; two mornings I heard the descent of a dozen Canada Geese who nearly disappeared in the mist over the lake (they also disliked the dog).
- Turtles climb their logs, clumsily scuttling back into the water, easily startled by the noise of gravel under feet and paws.
- Fish break the surface of the water near the shore, occasionally jumping and causing a big splash.
- Dragon flies take off for their reconnaissance along the shore, stopping for food and continuing their erratic flight patterns, returning frequently to inspect.
- A hawk begins his quest for breakfast in the back meadow where bunnies and squirrels are plentiful.
- Fog begins to descend on the lake as the sun falls behind the hills.
- Bats come from their hiding places (a few are in the eves of our roof) and begin swooping after the insects.
- The temperature drops considerably.
- The sky turns pink in the direction of the lowering ball of heat.
- The last rays of sun glint and sparkle through the trees.
- Sunlight dances on the ripples of the lake, like wayward Tinkerbells beaconing to those ashore.
- The moon, nearly full this week, rises above the hills behind the cabin.
- Coyotes yowl in the hills beyond.
- Daytime birds shout their good-nights (the crows rudely use their loudest voices).
- Night birds make shrill calls in the woods behind the sulphur spring, one with a voice like a child who often gets what he wants. The whip-poor-will repeats his calls over and over and over.
- A hound wails, its barking rising and falling as it runs up and down the hills beyond.
- With the nearly full moon behind us, a comical elongated shadow of woman and dog walks ahead of us.
- No human noises are audible. Frogs converse, insects chirp, hum and cackle.
- A light breeze makes the trees quiver and the leaves make a sound like the lapping of a gentle tide at shore.
- The dog plunges in the water in the stream, anxious for one last swim and relief from the horseflies that have yet to bed down.
With so much, how could you choose a favorite?