Sunlight reflected on the surface of the pond, trees swayed in a gentle breeze, and it was a beautiful day in late fall. On a rock on the shore, two frogs lay side by side, basking in the light. One of them cracked open her eyes and glanced at her wife.
“So, Joan…” Brigitte began tentatively. “I’ve noticed that there’s been a bit of a nip in the air lately. Those darn geese haven’t been bothering us as much; I think they’re packing up their bags and heading out to their vacation homes. Getting a little too chilly for them, I'd say.”
Joan slowly turned her gaze from the murky pond in front of them to her wife. “And?” she asked.
“Well, I was wondering if it might be time to start thinking about... hibernation,” Brigitte suggested.
The universe is upside-down. The lights of the city; so bright, so dazzling, Are below me as I float across the breeze. The galaxy lies beneath, not overhead. Above, the inky blackness reigns, Dripping down between the buildings, Running through the streets, Engulfing all but the brightest of lights. Some of these lights twinkle, some stand still, And some zoom past, hurrying off to nowhere. Like comets. Or shooting stars. I make no wish. I have nothing to wish for. I’m in no hurry. I have nowhere to be. A speck of light Holds no office hours, Needs no days off, Has no strict schedule. No schedule at all. Unlike this city, I am calm. Unlike this city, I am quiet. All sounds are distant. They echo within me, Yet leave no lasting effect. I am free, floating on the breeze, My thoughts mirroring its easy flow.
“Hey,” Karter whispered, leaning across his desk to poke the back of Chris’s head. Chris turned slowly from his worksheet, his eyebrows raised in exasperation. “What?” he hissed back. “Karter, it’s the middle of social studies. Mr. C has zero tolerance for talking in class.” He glanced furtively towards the front of the room. “You know we’ll get in trouble.” “I know he hates it, but don’t you think that’s just stupid? I can finish this worksheet at home. Right now, I want to talk to my buddy Chris, rules or no. Besides, I’m quiet as a mouse; it’s not like I’m bothering anybody.” Chris rolled his eyes. “Fine. Talk. Was there anything specific you wanted to say to me, or are you just being exasperating as usual?” “Sure, there’s stuff I want to say. Tons of it. Such as—” But before Chris could hear what Karter was planning on saying, a shadow loomed over their desks.
Throughout a photography camp that I took, I made it my goal to capture beauty in both nature and man-made objects, sometimes in one shot. The interesting angle or color of a building, a bee alighting on a flower, the rippling reflection of a boat in the lake. Photography is a way for me to capture these moments and objects in an appealing way to share with others.
One thing that was challenging was when I found something that really spoke to me, took some photos, and realized later that none of them turned out the way I wanted to. It’s frustrating when no amount of editing can salvage what you expected to be an interesting portrayal of something that caught your eye. On the reverse, however, I realized that a photo taken on a whim can turn out better than any of those ones carefully planned out and predicted before being shot. I still have a lot to learn about photography, but the camp was a great way for me to continue improving my skills.
When I was younger, I thought I knew it all. I’d sit in the window seat of the bus, Drive past the fields, trees, great big skies, And wonder about the world. I thought I had it figured out. I didn’t.
When I was younger, I thought I knew it all. I knew my friends, my books, my teachers, What they would do, how they would act, How each chapter would begin and end. I thought I had them figured out. I didn’t.
When I was younger, I thought I knew it all. I knew what I wanted to do, be, see, Exactly who I was, and how, and why. I knew who and what I liked. I thought I had myself figured out. I didn’t.
When I was younger, I thought I knew it all. But things change, as things tend to do. The certainties of childhood fell away And revealed questions, doubts, mistakes. I began to wonder if I had anything figured out. (I didn’t.)
“If you get the ability to sprout wings, you’d want them to be bird wings, dragon wings, fairy wings, or something cool like that. What do I get? Fly wings. Fate’s a total cheapskate.” I sprawl dramatically into my chair. Summer leans against the headboard of her bed, chewing on a pencil as she gazes down at the mysterious note from my table.
“I think Fate likes the double-meaning. I mean, if I were to describe what kind of wings you have, from this specific bug—”
“—Don’t you dare—”
“Relax. If I were to describe your wings, you’d have no choice but to use them. Kind of clever.”
“More like annoying.”
“Well, that too. But come on, most folks would kill for a chance to get superpowers like these. You can F-L-Y, dude.”