Thursday, July 31

something very private and old

Butterflies: a long, shimmering curtain. Millions of them. They practically blotted out the sky. I felt as if some secret had torn free from the earth, something very private and old, something much larger than myself . . . Salmon, wildebeest, locusts. Storks, swifts, snow geese. What if the torrents of animals migrating past us every year left behind traces of their routes? What if Arctic terns sketched lines through the sky as they poured out of Antarctica and back; what if steelhead trout left thin, colourful filaments behind as they muscled up our rivers? The skies above our fields would become a loom; the continents would be bundled in thread. [more]

-- Anthony Doerr "Butterflies on a wheel" Granta 102