Tales from an urban jungle

DSCF8986I woke up this morning thinking about adaptation. I stepped onto the stoop outside my door and looked out on an urban environment.

Bush Alaska to a thriving metropolis.

On my way to work this morning, four mallards followed an aerial path above me to a destination known only to them.

I have nothing against mallards. I love all living things. But on this morning, I longed for sandhill cranes flying by the thousands overhead.

DSCF4076There is life in Lowell, of that I am sure. The city throbs with it day and night. There is also death, and it is not of the wild variety you would find in Alaska or the Cascade Mountains of the Pacific Northwest.

Walking home from work on my usual path, I found a tiny rabbit on the train tracks the trolley follows. Its body had been ravaged. I have difficulty walking by these animals. They died at the hand of a human world.

I took a photograph to remember. I scooped up its limp body with a plastic cup and set it beneath the fence overlooking a canal. I apologized, and I headed home, thinking about the rabbit.

How did it get this far into the city? Was it scared by the sounds of traffic?

DSCF7329Sometimes, I feel lucky to make it home unscathed. This is not bush Alaska. People drive fast, and they often overlook pedestrians in their hurry to save a few precious seconds.

These thoughts live at the forefront of my mind day in and day out. Life in a city can feel at once alive and filled with possibility and also dirty, dangerous, and sad.

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Hours later, I walked through the darkened rooms of my apartment. I heard the sounds of crickets chirping outside somewhere nearby. It was a sound that filled my heart.

I felt hopeful.

I went to sleep and dreamed of the wilderness.

I went to sleep happy.

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