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A day not quite in Khoa Yai

There were millions of them.  They made the gray sky come to life.  It now had movement and pattern and a voice. They contrasted with the vibrant green mountains they flew out of.  I looked from the red dirt to the living sky.  Some found it horrifying, others mesmerizing. These bats had a routine that was mundane to them.  But to us, absolutely mystical.  Nature is barely recognizable as our attention is forced in other directions filled with technology and security.  The unknown is exhilarating.

Nature has become magical.

It had rained earlier in the day.  I sat outside watching the pounding rain drops hit the banana leaves, and the wild green that surrounded even this strip of housing off the side of the highway.

It seemed to summon brave flying insects who adored the rain as I did.  Some would suggest these bugs are suicidal, flying among raindrops that are as big as they are, but I would argue they were magnificent.

The rain has a way of conjuring nostalgia, asking it politely to come and entertain these moments of beauty.

People I have loved, moments I wasn’t quite able to appreciate, moments that I will always remember as spectacular.  Beauty has a way of attracting beauty.  It leaves out those moments you hate.  The moments you think of as unbearable, humiliating, sad, regretful.

I began to read again.  “Moments are different from instants.  Instants change something.”

The rain slows.  The drops are more intermittent.

I become restless.

And so I walk.  The music in my ears drowns out the after rain silence.

The pavement is damp.  The smell is fresh.  A young girl rides by on a bicycle meant for a grown man. She stares.  I am lip singing into my ipod and once I realize she is there I smile. Then giggle.  The dogs here are kind and gentle.  They search for my hand.  For some love.  I give it to them.  I trust them.

I have learned my lesson.  the silent rockstar has taken a break.

A woman sits in her wheel chair in the middle of a large, green front yard.  She has had many moments and hopefully even more instants.  I smile at her.  She stares at me.  Her face has become aged, her skin loose.

I continue. A white, young dog sits in front of a small shop that sells snacks and deodorant and toothbrushes.  “Hello puppy.”  I say in a high pitch voice similar to the voice I talk to my younger students. They’re still innocent.  They still know kindness, and appreciate it.  “Sanow.”  The woman who works at the shop says.  “Sanow?”  I say hesitantly in the same high pitch voice.  I pet her.  She loves me.

I pass the green front yard again. The lady filled with instants is still sitting quietly. She smiles at me.  It’s a smile of recognition.  She knows me.  Her eyes feel familiar

I take it.  Her generous eyes made my quiet Saturday afternoon feel more significant.

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