From a path less traveled
i have just come in from a walk around creek’s 6 acres. no one is about. a gusting wind pushes from the south. mmm. south south west perhaps.
tonight the wind will turn to the north west and the hot summer weather will end. tomorrow I will wake to early fall. as it should be. it is the middle of september.
heavy metal cloud scuds across a light grey sky. in an hour it will be black. but for now. now I walk amongst the trees I have tended. the fields I have mown, planted, harvested. down the lane I have laid. scraped. blown. dragged. dug down and built up.
the farmer was by. we talked. he mowed my front field. and rolled the grass into round bales. bales the size of old volkswagons. he left me two. i hadn’t even noticed as I traced my way on my sunshine filled morning shop. i spot them as I come back again.
the wind is still warm but the rain that whips in scattered but insistent drops comes with a cool touch. i do not hurry. my notion of discomfort has changed. cold is something i recognize still but does not affect me. i can’t boast that i am some superman. this year, as other years, i have gone the season in bare feet, but still. my feet are not as tough as other years. younger years.
i had an older friend who told me that 57 was a change year for him. i don’t know if it’s that i now, what, 30 years later, at least, know of what he spoke. or perhaps its that i’m influenced by his words. but i do know. its been a few years now my tendons no longer are so elastic. and while of course i miss that spring in my step, yet, i am grateful to have had those years. and if I am humbled and broken, all the better to understand what I had. and my feet. yes. they need flip flops and running shoes. if only when i go into the fields. for the first time this summer i wear my blue and silver running shoes.
there is a strange grass. it started three years ago? four? it was a patch the size of your hand. then your foot. the next year it expanded around the pole that holds the awning. for another year it was sequestered there. the next year it broke out and raced two feet wide and 10 feet long up the path.
i call the grass strange because it allows no trespassers. there is not a weed, another kind of grass, a flower, naught but it’s own stalks. and it is delicate. i can’t express how soft it is. how cool in the morning laden with dew. how comforting for naked feet to tread upon. in my whole life i don’t know that i’ve had from one thing, outside my human friends, so many moments of sheer delight.
and this year it has spread. it has a colony ten by ten with but an inch of tracery that shows it’s march into the new territory. and the main patch, that handful, is now ten by twenty feet. and more.
it is delicate too in life. it hates to be mowed. with my new mower even on the highest setting, it still turns an orange dare i say angry brown. and it will hold its sulk for days or more.
and yet this grass is not delicate at all. it still won’t relinquish its hold on the ground it has gained. it will flush out that orange and turn the slightly rare almost apple green again. and at no point will it allow anything else to replace its growth.
and a mistic fox
yesterday I woke to a heavy mist on the ground. common place in this odd season of hot temperatures and summer come late. and in the mist covering the field outside my bedroom window running up and down the mown lines of the farmer’s hay crop was a fox. I haven’t seen a fox for quite some time. he would run. pause. wait. sometimes pawing at a thicker clump of piled grass. stick his head into the hay. and who can say what he was snatching up. i watched for ten or fifteen minutes. maybe a half hour. time passes so quickly in moments like these.
and then i turned away to check something or rearrange my blankets and looked back. he was gone.
this time on the farm. it too is fleeting. a moment in the mist.
like feet. or youth.
come mist and wrap us in your wealth. for soon the fox sticks his head in for us.