our village (47)

D’you hear those spring peepers? Every year ….

D’you ever think they think about where they’re going, moment to moment?

No, right? They’re just being. They’re just being frogs. They’re not hopping toward anything with any kind of conscious intent, and they’re not hopping away from anything, not really, not with any logic about it, you know? They just go. Hippity-hop. Peep. Peep. Peep. Splunk! That’s what the cartoons say they sound like when they jump into the water: “Splunk!” But the cartoon might make you think the frog was like a human, with little human-like expressions and human thoughts, like, “I see that thing coming and I’m going to jump out of the way.” Nah, it’s not like that. The frog just jumps. Not thinking. Just being.

And the fish swim. Around and around.

And the stories they say about the lake monster … here’s my latest realization: the stories they say bout the lake monster are true. I mean, they’re true stories, and when you hear them, you should think about them as stories. Truly: stories.

What’s my point? My point is that I can understand when my Gretchen thinks I’m crazy, when she thinks I’m living in a world of fantasy rather than fact, when she thinks I’m disregarding science, when she thinks I believe too much in make-believe stories …. And I can understand when someone like Jerry Randy thinks I’m silly for being scared of the story of the lake monster, or a wolf on the loose in our village. But what I want to tell them is that I know they’re stories, and – and – I think they’re important – and scary, and uplifting – because they are stories, and … and there’s something beyond the stories ….

Why would we have all these stories … ?

I know when something’s a story, but I also know when there’s something beyond the story ….


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