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Sheri and I had not been in Arkansas for long and had no plans to stay forever. We still lived at my parents' homestead, learning how to milk goats and grow veggies. 1973 was the year that we had arrived there and, as one might expect, cannabis was as common as water. The main shelter on the homestead was a shack built around "Mother". Mother was the remnant of the army troop carrier truck we had previously all traveled in and the shack was pretty much all recycled lumber culled from the demolition of other shacks. 

One event which stands out sharp in the blur of those days is the evening when we decided to join the bullfrogs which gathered in the foundation project. The foundation was, at this point, a fair sized hole in the ground which had accumulated rainwater forming a small pond. Attracted by the water, the bullfrogs would ramp up in volume each evening as the light of day faded. The foundation would eventually become a larger and more unique shack to replace the shack embracing Mother.

On the evening in question we first passed a joint around and then joined hands in a circle around the foundation/bullfrog pond. We then began chanting "Aum" (or "Om" if you prefer). After a while, the bullfrogs joined in and added their chanting to ours. There were about twelve human voices. Hard to say how many bullfrog voices were in the mix.

This wasn't the first time I had participated in a group chant of this kind. The bullfrogs' participation was a first for me though, and the whole experience had a distinctly communing with nature feel to it. I have observed when chanting this way that there seems to be a strong tendency for the chanters to all stop together as if each somehow sensed that it was time to cease vocalizing. This time the relative silence of the night was tangible as the realization shone on us like the emerging stars...the bullfrogs had stopped chanting too.

 

Bullfrog

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