(You really didn't think that I spend all my time brooding about theology, did you?)
I'm driving back to the office from lunch, taking a shortcut through the snowy alley of a strip mall on our main drag, when I notice a strange dark shape up ahead. The shape moves. I slow to a creep and approach. It's a ringnecked pheasant rooster. He's gorgeous; striking mottled buff plumage, with a shimmering, irridescent neck and elegantly long, striped tail. I'm about a yard away from him, thinking that he'll scurry into the weedy vacant lot next door, when he suddenly explodes into the air right over the hood of my car, almost touching the windshield, and glides onto the roof of the local delicatessen, a living kite with his beautiful banded tail trailing behind him like a banner.
There are days when I think that I am going to spontaneously combust from the multiple frustrations of living in a small town. There are other days when -- well, when you can almost reach out and touch a ringnecked pheasant in an alley behind a strip mall. I don't think this happens in Manhattan.