When winter clothes the ground in white, I yearn for the days of living in the midst of green. Days when the air is crisp and fresh, and the sunlight through the trees makes shadows dance across the surface of the water. I enjoy the brief moments when I can wander off to the vernal pool, checking on the tadpoles, in a delightful and frivolous “waste of time.”
Hundreds of tadpoles rise from its depths to breathe. Their bodies grow top-heavy, with their tiny and useless legs protruding, and cumbersome tails. Sometimes I wonder if they notice the loss of their sleek bodies. Or do they not remember? They bob at the surface with white bellies facing upwards in a strange parody of water ballet. Slowly they rise together, gulp at the surface, and then sink beneath the water. Every time they reappeared to inhale, they were risking their lives.
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