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Machines Add To The Magic

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Bruce and I joke about how you can tell we’re country people because, when we hear the coyotes sing, we stop and watch the train.

We look down the belly of our neighbor’s field for the headlamp, bright as a small sun, looking like a mystery, miles away. It’s so small, so fine, we think of a model train set up at Christmas instead of the real thing.

We see the signal crossing and brake lights from cars parked, blinking on and off, on and off. We hear the roar of the engine’s horn, each engine honking a different voice. The train’s rumble rises then falls away.

Other nights we stand at the head of the driveway and watch for the International Space station as it glides into view from the southwest, a bright, smooth star, moving quickly, soundlessly. We talk about the people making experiments, our tax dollars invested, the mysteries of people in space.

When we hear the hum of our neighbors’ tractors or combines, we step outside and watch as that John Deere hauls a 26-row planter up the field. At night the fields are lit up like football stadiums or launch pads. Sometimes the crop duster wheels and drops with as much skill as a hawk catching thermals.

These slick machines can make as much wonder, as much beauty, as the rainbow catching sunlight in rain. We can listen to the robin sing.

I’m Katie Andraski, and that’s my perspective.

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