Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Behind Us

How beautiful a day can be
When kindness touches it!
-George Elliston

Spouse and I stopped at a gasoline station yesterday just after we left our friend's home in Northern Maine. The morning was motionless, and the frigid air had razored teeth that gnawed at our faces. We welcomed the drastic change in temperature, resigned as we have become to the overwhelming blanket that Summer flings over us.
As Spouse filled the tank of the car and we stood shivering and surveying the scenery, a figure burst from the adjoining store.
Then she was calling to us, the station attendant Spouse had spoken to minutes earlier. She was trying desperately to tell us something but she was at too great a distance for her words to be determined. Perhaps, we thought hastily, we had left the credit card on the counter inside; perhaps our particular gas pump was out of order. We wondered, and waited for her approach.
"Look!" she cried, pointing at something behind us. "Moose! There's a moose. Look!"
We turned. Far across the frost-tipped fields, obscured first by one enormous tree and then another, then at last visible in its magnificent entirety, was a tremendous, lumbering moose.
He was thundering past somebody's house, somebody's garden, crashing briefly through civilisation, his herculean form shaking loose the tranquility and ripping across the canvas of a pure morning.
A shred of sunlight ricocheted off the departing creature, and then he was gone.
It was the first moose I ever laid eyes on; but more significant was the fact that the lady, who surely was familiar with the antics of moose in the area, had emerged from her warm corner to tell us we were missing a spectacular sight.
She might have dismissed the thought of sharing the scene with us; the fact that she did not hesitate, and the coinciding fact that I had never seen a moose in all my life made the event a precious one.
We did thank her profusely, but in all likelihood she was unaware of how deep an impression her humble deed left on our day.


Unknown said...

Such sightings are incredible. I never tired, living on the Oregon Coast, of seeing whales. And if one breached full-bodied out of the water to make a magnificnet, thundering crash, all the better.

Moose in Vermont are seen enough by others, but only a few times by me, that I keep looking furtively about, but it's never the right time of day.

Thank you for helpoing me :see" one.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Ah, I'm envious. I would love to see a moose in the wild. I can only imagine how remarkable that was. A true kindness indeed for her to share that experience with you. Lovely story.

Pauline said...

A kindness AND a moose in the same day!

While living in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, I once got a call from a neighbor's child after the school bus went by. "Could you give us a ride?" he asked plaintively. "Miss the bus, did you?" I asked.

"Well," he said, "only because there's a moose on our doorstep."

Sure enough, when I got to the house, there was a moose on the doorstep! It took some horn honking to get it to move, but eventually it lumbered off into the woods and the kids and I headed for the school. The teacher said later it was the best excuse for tardiness she'd heard in a long time.

Pappy said...

No telephoto lens? No batteries? The Moose siting of the century and we are left to imagine how beautiful it must have been. You know how we crave video in this electronic age. Great story - I saw it too. Pappy

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Kip, I've never seen a whale. Now, that would be something. I know moose are not so uncommon but at least it was to my eye, which made it a great experience.

Pamela, kindness indeed, she surely didn't have to bother telling us. It was such a genuinely good thing to do for us.

Pauline, wow. That's amazing- it is a good excuse for tardiness! Nobody can deny it. On the doorstep- incredible. It's probably better to read about it than have it happen to you though ;)

Texican, not a second to take a picture, it was just to be seen and experienced, fleeting.
I'm glad you were 'there'! It's often hard to share that experience without video, as you say. Words sometimes have to do the trick!
We did remember the batteries, of course. We haven't ever forgotten them since the music festival disaster.

Barb said...

What a magical moment. Seeing such a magestic animal in all it's glory is always so humbling.

Your story once again gave me the eyes in my mind to see your moose and I love your line about "the frigid air had razored teeth..." Boy that sure describes how darn cold that air was. Fabulous choice of words. B

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Barb, thank you! I always appreciate hearing such things anout my writing. And I liked that line myself so- good choice ;)
It was a magestic moose, to be sure. I loved seeing it.

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