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As a child, it was one of my greatest delights to visit my grandparents in the spring when the whip-poor-wills began to call. Grandma and Grandpa lived in a remote valley of the Ozark Mountains where there were trees a plenty, and, seemingly, a whip-poor-will, or two, in each one.
My grandmother insisted that a whip-poor-will's call was not "whip-poor-will," but instead, "chip-butter-white-oak." I would listen really hard trying to hear it exactly as she said it was, but all I could hear was "whip-poor-will, whip-poor-will,..." But, I never let on to her.
I remember my grandpa watching and listening, with an amused look on his face, to one of these listening sessions. Shortly after that he began to call me, just for fun, "Chip Butter." It is a name I am proud to wear for I still love to hear that long, lonesome call on a warm summer's eve. And, sometimes, when I listen really, really hard, it seems I can hear quite clearly, "chip-butter-white-oak, chip-butter-white-oak..."
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
It is a well traveled path made by feet other than ours, by creatures who make a pilgrimage each day to find life sustaining water. We walked that path today, ever mindful of the growing scarcity of water. We are not the first to suffer through times of little rain. The rocks, ages old, over which water should be flowing, know the story well. It is not a time for the weak, whether man or beast, plant or animal, but for the strong to step forward, to surge on for those who will follow the next year and the next.
It is with delight that we find emerging out of the earth the trickle of water from beneath the roots of an old oak tree. The pond is still filled to overflowing. Shadows are reflected in shallow pools along the rocky stream bed. The water still flows. This is another of today's blessings.