Sometimes I feel nostalgia for the present moment, a fresh footprint filling with water, the huge black bear’s intelligent muzzle swinging left & right as he climbs out of the marsh beside the springhouse & ambles off down the driveway. His strength is in his loins, & his force is in the navel of his belly. When I was between the ages of nine and twelve I had a recurring dream about a pond dotted with lotuses in which the shadows of golden carp could sometimes be glimpsed, & if I raised one foot like a heron, my other foot would slowly leave the ground & I could float through the air a few feet above the surface of land or water with only my unvoiced intention to set my course. I would wake up convinced that such levitation lay within my abilities, if only I could find that pond and stand on its shore. This was, I realized later, a dream about the soul, the existence of which I did not then & do not now fully credit. But what I loved most about that dream was that the moment I took my right foot off the ground, a hush descended. All sounds turned distant & echoey like the song of a veery. It was as if the air had suddenly grown thick, or my ears had flooded with water in the aftermath of some great, improbable thing.