Monday, September 14, 2009

Graceful Wanderer

I realize that in my catching up, I'm darting from one topic to the next, paying no mind to chronology. I mean, I'm about to talk about the summer after summer camp without having ever mentioned a word about most of July! Sorry. I'm sure you'll forgive me.

Mickey spent all of July at a nearby day camp called Flying Cloud. A neighbor, whose little girl was attending camp as well, agreed to pick Mickey up from the store each morning and take him along; I agreed to pick them both up at the end of each day and bring them home as I got off work a half an hour before camp ended. July was busy, July was great. Then August came.

We wrestled with putting Mickey in a day camp at the Y for the first two weeks of August, but having just spent all of July with people he knew, I didn't want to throw him into a situation where he knew no one and where he could possibly be the youngest one in the camp. That happened earlier in the year over Winter Break and I didn't like it. I felt like I was dumping Mick off in a situation which was essentially glorified babysitting, and it felt kind of icky. So, instead, we opted to pay a babysitter who knew him to take care of him. The babysitter, Mrs. Dehey, had actually been a teacher at Kolburne, the school where Tom works, but she had been the victim of budget cuts and was let go. She could use the extra income. Mickey had gone to Mrs. Dehey's house with Tom and had made friends with Mrs. Dehey, her son, another teacher's son and the swimming pool. So he was good to go.

Every morning, Mrs. Dehey would come up from Connecticut to pick Mick up at the store and then they would go off and have adventures, run errands, and hang out at the pool, rain or shine, cold and miserable weather or not. One morning after they had left the store, I noticed that Mickey and Mrs. Dehey were out in front of the store and Mrs. Dehey was lying on the ground. It was a bit alarming. Did she fall? Had she lost her mind? No. She and Mickey were just taking a closer look at the enormous dragonfly they found idling on the front patio.

The dragonfly was alive, just not kicking - much. We thought maybe he had come to the end of his wandering life and was about to expire before our very eyes. Then we noticed his tail. It looked like, perhaps, a bird had taken a bite out of it. If you open the photo below, you can see his wound back toward the end.

Mrs. Dehey showed great bravery and picked the thing up and held it in her hand and let it perch on the tip of her finger. Now, I put dragonflies in the same category as cicadas, praying mantis and walking sticks, so you'd never catch me picking up a dragonfly much less letting one perch on the end of any one of my fingers. Creepy. A little ancient and ominous looking for my well-being. Mickey, who HATES bugs of every stripe actually let Mrs. Dehey perch the wounded wander on his finger. Inexplicable.

Notice the position of Mickey's head in the last photo above and how it's slightly tilted away from the dragonfly and how his shoulders are raising - a clear indication that he was getting a bit freaked out. Well, this paying of attention to a dying bug really couldn't go on ad infinatum, so Mrs. Dehey placed the dragonfly gently on the blossom of a bright red begonia. As if instantly revived, the dragonfly took flight, though a bit wobbly, and was soon high up over our heads and up, up and away.

graceful wanderers
pause in the afternoon sunlight
gone the next instant

- author unknownnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn