I can hear frogs when I step outside. A stagey chorus of frog voices. I hear them, but I can't see them, although I lurked beside the pond this afternoon, peering into crevices. No dice.
I can even hear them in here, in my room. Don't be fooled; it's a creature metropolis out here in the country. Teeming. Last night I needed to walk, but the dark here is deep. I saw a path leading up and into trees and I stepped in that direction, flashlight in hand.
I stepped in that direction, then stopped. All the childhood fears - of things moving in the dark, things unseen, of lives going on in the underbrush - all came running up to hit me square in the face. I'm a grown-up woman who walks easily by neighborhood toughs and crackheads and drunks, but this was too much. An unknown path in the deep dark of the forest is just too much.
I turned back to my room, ready to run laps up and down the stairs.
Today a jackrabbit the size of a beagle looks at me out the side of his eyes, giant ears alert, then dismisses me. I'm not a threat; I barely exist in its world. A mutant bumblebee circles my head, impossibly staying aloft, buzzing like a small plane coming in for a landing.
Two deer have a friendly shit together not five feet away, and I barely register. I'm irrelevant.
A person could get used to this. If I could stay here another week or three, my little dramas might shrink back down into proportion. But it's only another day and a half, and then I'll be back in my own wilderness.
Until then, the frogs belch in their amphitheaters, unfazed by my tromping boots while I try to find them out. They're performing for another crowd entirely.