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Time Passages

Updated on November 1, 2012

As I stepped out the door, I was basked in gentle starlight and moonlight. Looking east, a group was illuminated by the flames of a bonfire, their voices being carried in the wind. Quickly heading west down the driveway, beast and I were on a mission, which now follows, without interruption

Dead silence as I stood in place hopefully eyeing the North Star as I often did in days of yore. My will followed it and the Big Dipper gave a big “hello!” Smiling to my private thoughts, the occasional traffic on Route 1, a half mile north as the crow flies, kept interspersing the silence. It was a lot more than it used to be. Progress!

The dog and I were guilty of our own perpetual sound; tap, tap, tap of nails on the asphalt and my own footfalls in unison. As I kept peering overhead, the bright half moon kept just ahead of me, the stars changed their locations accordingly. I now thought how I had been out earlier and seen my first male Pileated Woodpecker. Actually, I had heard him first, no doubt a mating call. Perhaps I should try that. Then he appeared between the pines. He was magnificent! This was one big boy, with a long, thick bill and a crest on his head. I immediately thought about how closely he resembled the Ivory Billed, when he landed on the trunk of what remained of a tree that had broken two snows ago. Seeking a better look, I retraced my steps. He was peeking at me and calling loudly at the same time. I can’t even describe the vocalization, as I’d never noticed it before today. He allowed the admiration, though short, then returned to the area between the pines. Yes, I was impressed.

I stood for the moment, replaying what I had just been privy to, then my mind went back four days prior. That was the day that I had seen three Common Loons emerge from under the bridge at Whitten-Parritt Stream. It was two males and a female, no babies atop her back, for it was still too early. They all swam with the current, and when they reached the ice dam(which had melted considerably over the past couple of days), they took flight to follow what was left of the stream to the ice covered inlet. Even today, very little remains of the ice dam.

We continued on our walk, the traffic much louder than we had begun, now hearing the rubber compress as the cars passed over cracks in the roadway. The water‘s sound passing over the rocks at Whitten-Parritt Stream was now within earshot, and I was now under that high moon, the stars still with me, right in front of the old Ayer’s house. It was very worn, getting tired, having seen many better days. I took a whiff of the wood being burned in its furnace, and closed my eyes for a moment. I recalled the old campground store that used to be across from the house, on the opposite side of the driveway.

There used to be an old treadle-operated stone grinding wheel that sat out front, that Ken Ayers used to sharpen his axes with. The stone was first wet with water, then rotated while the ax's head was sharpened with the moving wheel. Water was applied periodically to the stone while it sharpened the steel. Years later, I would play with the apparatus pretending that I was using it to sharpen something.

As I continued on my nightly trek almost to the stream, the traffic was as loud as it was going to get. Then I turned my attention to the rushing water over the rocks. The smell of the water filled my nostrils, the moon was smiling down at me, and I could see the ice dam in its grinning glow. The white ice and snow glistened in the light of the moon, and as I stood there, I could barely discern the outline of the pine leaning down across the left banking, trying to reach the other side.

Things tend to change over the passage of time, I thought, as I passed the Ayers’ house again. The light emanated through the curtains, ever so softly, that being the only sign of life within.

When I reached the dirt drive where part of the campground originally used to be, I heard the familiar honking of a group of night fliers. Yes, spring was here, for they were heading for Canada. That was their home and the southerly climate was unable to keep its hold on them. They were heading home instinctively, just as I did. With the passage of the right amount of time, all animals return to whence they have come, take a mate, and raise their respective families. It is all a part of the circle of life. Instinct is truly a guiding and strong force that cannot be reckoned with, for it will always win. It is just better to go with it and be lead to one’s destination. In the long run, everything will work out as it should.


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    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Glad to hear it precy anza. It is good to have a little imagination and just let yourself go. It helps to keep the mind active, as well as relax it.

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 

      6 years ago from USA

      I just experienced that same feeling I have when I read my fantasy novels. As gamby79 says, it takes the reader in. :) You got my imagination working Avian, I feel like I was seeing all of those :) And also reminds me of those nights I had spent on my roof top years ago looking at the moon.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, starstream, so good to see you and meet you. If nothing else, I am good for descriptiveness. I can make the blind see, I have been told.

    • starstream profile image

      Dreamer at heart 

      6 years ago from Northern California

      Thanks for writing this descriptive work which paints a picture so clearly and takes us away for awhile to another place .

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Eddy. It is so good to see you again.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      6 years ago from Wales

      Brilliant and thank you so much for sharing.


    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Glad to have you along, Marites!

    • coffeegginmyrice profile image

      Marites Mabugat-Simbajon 

      6 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      Of a high moon, the bright stars, the walk with a man's bestfriend, the animals around and the sounds of night, the traffic, the waters, the smell, memories of an old treadle...these time passages...beautiful!

      Glad that I see ALL of which you have described, aviannovice, with a wonderful imagery and my imaginary walk with you and your dog.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Michael, thank you so much. It is good to see you again. I'm really happy that you like the piece.

    • molometer profile image


      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Very atmospheric picture conjured up in this hub. The grip of winter's hold and the sounds of the wood were spot on.

      All things have their season. Go with the flow.

      Voted up and 4/5 buttons. Sharing on twitter.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Angela, glad that you felt like you were a part of this. That is the beauty of a rural is so picturesque.

    • Angela Brummer profile image

      Angela Brummer 

      6 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

      I felt like I was part of the adventure!voted up!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      This is a true story. I walked back home fairly frequently and this was actually one of my adventures. Glad that you could "see" it.

    • gamby79 profile image


      6 years ago

      Love the spirit of this one. It takes the reader in..felt like I was a part of it myself. Great one!!!


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