Venturing across a dark noisy creek and then up a steep hill into an olive orchard cloaked under the soft light of a crescent moon takes a curious person. Moi!
This orchard teems with (about to be eaten) mice, rats, vols, gophers and is presided over by the mystical faces of white ghostly barn owls that glide in flight like avian ghost ships.
To visit the owls, I needed a little flash light.
So, I grabbed a tiny one, about 2 inches long, and headed down into the leaf duff. I slipped just as I was about to leap across the creek and upon that moment of instability, decided I needed a brighter light.
I headed back to the house and into the pantry and selected a grey steel flashlight, about 6 inches long.
Someone in the family room was eating his grilled vegetables and petrale sole after a very long day’s work.
“Why don’t you take the black flashlight, Cheri? The one that is 18 inches long.”
Because I don’t need that big of a flashlight…it’s heavy…and I have this Canon DSL camera around my neck. If I fall in the creek with all that gear, I could drown in 6 inches of water.
“No really. Let me get that big flashlight for you.”
No, I really don’t…..
“Where IS that flashlight? It’s always here, right where it is supposed to be! It’s important to put things back in the SAME place every time. (Cheri)
I think I will go upstairs and get my red flashlight, the one that is 12 inches long and by my side of the bed.
But it was gone too (this is not good, I thought).
Two flashlights not in their regular places. I tried to sneak out the door without being seen.
“When the Big One comes (the earthquake) we will need flashlights and believe me, it’s important to be able to find them.”
I’m going to the olive orchard with a glass of wine now and the camera and the flashlight.
From the peaceful dark deck up in the orchard, ensconced in the yellow adirondack chair, I heard the sound of a John Deere Gator zipping up and down the driveway. Someone was looking for missing flashlights. Everywhere.
I didn’t want to come home. But.
The night cooled, the owls began their hunting, and the glass was empty.
When I came in like a little Daniel Boone of a person, someone told me that the long black flashlight had been in the pantry where it should have been all the time, but it had been misplaced on the floor behind the dog food.
When I came upstairs, there by my side of the bed was the red flashlight.
Where did you find it?
In my office.
Good, I said, settling into bed with the biography I am reading about Prince Charles, if the big one happens tonight, we will be prepared.