By Michael Pettit
Just past dusk I passed Christiansburg,
cluster of lights sharpening
as the violet backdrop of the Blue Ridge
darkened. Not stars
but blue-black mountains rose
before me, rose like sleep
after hours of driving, hundreds of miles
blurred behind me. My eyelids
were so heavy but I could see
far ahead a summer thunderstorm flashing,
lightning sparking from cloud
to mountaintop. I drove toward it,
into the pass at Ironto, the dark
now deeper in the long steep grades,
heavy in the shadow of mountains weighted
with evergreens, with spruce, pine,
and cedar. How I wished to sleep
in that sweet air, which filled--
suddenly over a rise--with the small
lights of countless fireflies. Everywhere
they drifted, sweeping from the trees
down to the highway my headlights lit.
Fireflies blinked in the distance
and before my eyes, just before
the windshield struck them and they died.
Cold phosphorescent green, on the glass
their bodies clung like buds bursting
the clean line of a branch in spring.
How long it lasted, how many struck
and bloomed as I drove on, hypnotic
stare fixed on the road ahead, I can't say.
Beyond them, beyond their swarming
bright deaths came the rain, a shower
which fell like some dark blessing.
Imagine when I flicked the windshield wipers on
what an eerie glowing beauty faced me.
In that smeared, streaked light
diminished sweep by sweep you could have seen
my face. It was weary, shocked, awakened,
alive with wonder far after the blades and rain
swept clean the light of those lives
passed, like stars rolling over
the earth, now into other lives.
It rained again for most of Thursday, quite hard at times and there was a tornado warning in the evening (more serious over in College Park where Daniel is in school -- they sent out two alerts -- but apparently the storm passed them without incident). I spent most of the morning indoors, doing work and backing up my journal, where I am now less than a year from when I started it and it is getting surreal...in fact there is the same sort of hysteria going on in SPN fandom now as there was in LOTR at the time I was archiving. And I realized that the same insanity goes on and on, what else is new! I am happy at least that Ringer got picked up for the season.
I had a very nice evening with gblvr, whom I met for our usual Indian food in the mall, then walked around and looked at fall clothes and behaved ourselves in jewelry stores. There is a Halloween Express place now, which has a decent number of plus-size and non-franchise costumes but has most of the bad stereotypes (Indian chief, Mexican, naughty nun, etc.) and not enough light-up spiders and bats. Then I got to watch the DS9 pilot, which I have not seen in more than 15 years -- it was enormously enjoyable! I am glad Detroit won, but I must confess that the baseball playoffs are not really holding my interest. Here are some more photos from Dancing Leaf Farm, including the Stink Bug Invasion: