The quote in the sidebar from Annie Dillard speaks of "finding a penny [that] will literally make your day." I found one last night. And it wasn't just a penny. It was a silver dollar. And to be honest, I didn't find it. It found me.
I took Joel to soccer practice last night. My back had been hurting but I determined to walk a bit, hoping to relax the spasms that have been bothering me. I started out slowly around the soccer complex, three big fields bordering a limpid, trash-lined stream. The air was cool and damp and smelled of grass and mud. The lights on the tall poles illuminated the field through a halo of mist. The transformer box for the big lights buzzed. Not really the place you'd expect a silver dollar.
I picked up speed and decided to circle not just the lit fields, but the unlit and unused field at the far end of the complex. And then it happened. As I neared the far corner of the dark field, a Great Horned Owl hooted from a tree by the stream, very close, very loud, and just once. Silver dollar indeed. I practically skipped the rest of the way, I was so delighted with that hoot-owl call.
You may not think that an owl call is such a big deal. But for me, last night, that sound was a gift. And yes, as Annie Dillard said, it literally made my day...and night.