Tired of dodging the persistent longhorn beetle, I finally let it land so it could verify that I was not a tree. Recovering from a week of crippling lower back pain, I was celebrating my personal Independence Day a day late, but the forest still had claims on me. I remembered the Sunday before, how my back had gone out just as I was sitting down, and the flies had landed on me just the same. We are little more than large and awkward guests in a world of insects, I sometimes think. If only we all had exoskeletons instead of these troublesome, tree-like spines!
This is how the recovery happened: I had laid down Saturday afternoon and unexpectedly fell into a deep sleep, though I had gotten plenty of sleep the night before. I dreamed I was inching across one of the high barn beams despite my bad back, a burning cigarette dangling from my lips. My father came into the barn, spotted me in the rafters, and said, “So that’s what you meant by a spiritual retreat!” When I woke up, the pain was already beginning to recede.
Fourth of July:
fireflies flash, fireworks boom,
the moon turns to fuzz.
Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).