Where we walk

We have arrived at the days between.  Between winter and spring.  Somebody dropped a hint that warmer days are ahead.  The moon is a fat round lady sitting in the balcony watching the Salt Point Opera unfold in the mud and dried sticks of grass below her.  The land around the house is a right disaster.  Apple tree prunings add to minefields of dead and brittle pine branches piling piles on piles of wood-chips-to-be.  More birds sing in the morning, and morning is coming earlier.  Maple sap crowds its way out of the trunks, defying me to empty the buckets in time.  There’s an seed starter in the warm corner of the kitchen waiting for some dirt and seeds.  The curtain hesitates rising on another season, and we, waiting in the wings feel the flutter and hammer of the nervous heart, knowing that energy will be needed for the spring and summer rush.  So much to do, so much to do.
Somehow, though, the thermometer is stuck below freezing, holding hard in the low numbers, and coats are generally the inside staple, still.  And still, windows and doors did open this week.  We damped down the stove and felt a breeze blow in that hinted warmth and dust was rising from its funny corner hideouts.  New organization came to the shop, in the form of certain shelves.  Brambles pushed up in the front yard, announcing growth, the first-mover advantage.  I won’t stake my life on it, but I think I saw some buds swelling.  Green shoots pushed up through brown leaves deep in hidden places in the woods.  We finally took down the evergreen wreath on the front door.
Walking in the woods with Seneca is my defiant stand against ticks, for the moment.  We’re blessed with land to roam over, and she is the perfect companion for that.  She may be perfect for nothing else, or she may be perfect in every way, but there, in the woods, I am able to most perfectly appreciate her.  In them, still, everything is raw and spare, the views long, and without leaves, the contours visible, the land is unmysterious, the sky is visible everywhere, except in stands of pine and spruce, which huddle together guarding their darkness.  They whisper together, turn their backs on me, they’ve noticed I have a spot of breakfast in my beard.  And elsewhere, white birches, frozen lightning strikes are perfectly abrupt amongst the gray beeches and hickories.  The walk is a long downhill ramble, between hillocks, to a stream, then a turn, left about-face, and back uphill on two sides to the crest of the same long hill, where ancient apple trees are vying for sunlight with the more regular forest trees, so much their tallers.  Still the apple trees are there, and I pass them everyday wondering if we’ll find them holding apples in the fall.  They sit amongst the stone walls, and I also try to imagine these rolling hills bare of trees, and standing in wheat or corn, or grazed with sheep.  The walls are so much part of the landscape, I almost have to wonder whether they were left by glaciers, so omnipresent, rambling, and of their place, within their place, are they.  These trees, these walls are the most ghostly everyday reminders that we, people, have been here a very long time, have worked to create order and plenty from the earth and sky.  It is just slightly hallowed ground, to know that where I walk, we have walked long, and we are all together there, in the quiet sighing trees, and lifting birds, in the roiling currents of dirt beneath leaves and roots and rocks.  Here we walk and talk and play.

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One Response to Where we walk

  1. lloyd says:

    You are SUCH a good f-ing writer.

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