Juvenile blackbirds flock together in their spring before maturing. They practice their calls and bounce between branches. The red wing variety shake like wet dogs and show off the band of sun plumage on their wings. Morning or evening sun makes their feathers lucid iridescent. They bounce with splayed feathers across blue highways and balance atop fence posts and tall reeds rolling songs.
I am the song they sing.
Driving on the little highways, we can see the weather ahead of us. We can see rain in rue gray sky where we have to cover the embers of our fire with thick bricks of existentialism. It is sad camping in the rain at night. Tarps and mud may never soothe the soul. Eating in small town diners, reeking of smoldering campfire requires a thirty percent tip. Unless they forget the extra pickles.
I’ve harped about the democratic image of big box retailers killing local economies of small towns. The past two days echoed my suspicions. Every small town we passed had a Kentucky fried Chicken, McDonald’s, Hardees, Taco Bell, Taco John’s, Wendy’s, Culver’s, pizza Hut, Dominos Pizza along the main drag. When we meander into the former downtown, we encounter boarded up neo-gothic, Romanesque facades of 19th century storefronts. The buildings were sinking into the ground like the economy. Every town had churches too. The stained glass windows of the Madonna with child or Christ’s last stand left colored shadows on the cracked sidewalk on the samara strewn boulevards.
Ever wonder where god is?
The blackbirds sing. They roll and mimic.
I have been looking for something more the lesser part of my life.
Despite the repose and awfulness of mourning in these small towns, where everyone old stays and remains, where everyone young leaves and leaves. In these small towns, we found miracles. In long lost churches and city halls and libraries, we found people. Abstract dimples on an stretched canvas. People with love and hope, all for me. They go home to manicured lawns covered with lawn ornaments we can’t ever forget.