Kes, Missy, Eli and I were sitting out by the rock cliff next to their home yesterday evening when a bat swirled slowly around the big shade umbrella and then vaguely drifted toward the house. The front door was open. The bat flew in. As we cautiously walked through the house, looking mainly up, in the high white places above Kes’s paintings, Missy, who is a pediatrician, gave a matter-of-fact account of the treatment for rabid bat bites, which are so soft you can’t feel them. The treatment calls for 21 days of shots in the stomach.
I discerned no panic in the household. And within five minutes, Missy spotted the tips of the bat’s wings peeking out from beneath door of the closet next to the front door. Kes immediately appeared holding a long-handled little net which appeared to have been saved for just such an event. He gently opened the closet door, placed the net over the bat and then flipped the creature out into the evening. We returned to our round little table to finish our drinks and cheese.
I know Kes well enough to know that the calm order of his life and especially of his paintings does not come without some inner turmoil. But to be in the presence of the order of his life is deeply healing and inspiring. The bat rescue is one I will remember as a perfect metaphor for this family of peaceful giants. I don’t know how Missy spotted those tiny black wing tips hiding in the most unlikely place of the house. I feel a pedestal rising here, so I’ll wind this tribute down. When I came up to the big living room-dining room-kitchen this morning, Kes had a coffee maker set up with a cup, ready to hit start. He and Missy are off at the athletic club, working out in their daily routine. If I weren’t here, they would then head to town, he to his studio to paint and she to her office at their friend Len’s home, to work at their art dealer business. I am so happy to have had a chance to spend some time here. I feel like a bat who flew in and was gently helped on my way by the beauty of habit and hospitality.