This weekend, I noticed a line had been chalked along one portion of the street I live on. Both sides of the street had been marked, and the line wavered along the road's shoulder, sometimes right along the edge, sometimes a foot or more into the road. The lines connected across the center of the street in front of a house where I'd seen children playing in the past. They are well up the street, and I don't know the family. At the last intersection before my house, the lines followed a different branch of the intersection. I was tired and cranky, with lots to do, and payed it little attention.
This morning on the way to work, I encountered the lines again. Feeling more upbeat after a good night's sleep, the lines now intrigued me. Or maybe I was just procrastinating, delaying a trip my job, where our building is being destroyed and rebuilt around us. Whichever it was, I followed the lines slowly through the early morning. The sky was becoming lighter, but the land was still dark, and I needed my headlights to pick out the narrow line at the side of the road. The lines turned a corner, then turned again, entering the neighboring subdivision. On and on they went. This was revealing itself to be quite a project! Finally, the lines turned into a cul-de-sac. The two ends circled the pavement and joined where they met. Overall, it probably represented nearly a mile of continuous chalk line. No words, no pictures, nothing but the line, wavering along the road. Truly a monument to a child of incredible focus and drive - whomever he or she might be.
As I turned my car around, I caught a flurry of motion. My headlights had disturbed a heron, which relocated down the road with a few slow strokes of its massive wings. It looked strange and mystical in the first light of day, as it half flew/half leapt through the air to it's new perch. As I left the subdivision, I disturbed it again and it leapt back into the air and headed for the west.
The strange thing is that I've never seen a heron in our nieighborhood before. Herons are water birds, and we've got a mere splash in our immediate vicinity. There was no reason for it to be there. Were the lines drawn to lead me to the heron? Was the heron drawn to see the lines? It's a question that may never be answered for, though I swear the forecast today said partly cloudy, instead, the southern half of the state is engulfed in steady rain showers. The chalk lines will be gone when I get home. Perhaps they just weren't needed any more.