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You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. Robin Williams

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Location: Kentucky, United States

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Six A.M.

Behind me, a Pileated woodpecker taps out a staccato rhythm. Across the holler, another answers the phrase, matching note for note. The first cries out an invitation, and then resumes the duet. They trade licks back and forth, each pausing to listen as the other takes up the melody.

There is a slight wind blowing, and the rustling leaves fill in the gaps. Cicada song moves in stereo from one place to another, surround sound accompaniment to the morning’s performance. It is to the front, now behind and to the left, off to the side, back and forth, round and round.

Sitting on the deck, I catch a scent of breakfast from the kitchen. Beverle is teaching Zachary how to make biscuits. Cloud like catheads, fluffy and hot, with her gravy made with the drippings from the turkey-bacon Zack skillet fries.

We greet the day and we are greeted in turn. The second day of vacation is not vacant, but full. Full to the senses, full in family, full for our stomachs, breakfast is waiting; I have to go.

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