Saturday, walking the woods and fields behind the library. Reaching the corn field, it looks like a tractor recently came through and plowed under the standing stalks. Rock-sized clods of black dirt lie in a wake of tire marks, segregating the field like waves on an ocean. A few geese stand, looking perplexed at the changed landscape.
There is a strong smell of something sharp and fuelish, and I wrinkle my nose in disgust. I wonder if the tractor was leaking diesel fuel? Here I was walking the field to escape the gas and oil stained streets of my neighborhood. As the anger of imposing ugliness threatens my peaceful outing, I shove it back down, but decide not to take a deep breath to ease the tension.
I look down dismayed at the damp oily earth, and hope I am not stepping in fuel that will soak into my soles of my beloved hiking boots or worse yet, into the bottoms of my dogs’ paws.
Java occasionally jumps and twists in the air, leaping forward until she hits the end of the leash. She turns back to look at me, urging me to go faster, while Latte, nose to ground, moves at a fast clip, stopping at times to sniff the air and whimper when a deer suddenly runs away from us, deeper into the trees, a glimpse of a raised white tail and then nothing.
Sunday, a late afternoon walk by the Rum River. It’d been so warm all day but it was cooling quickly as the sun sank lower. Our progress along the trail, hitting low spots and nearing the river, was punctuated by exclamations of “Ohhhh! Cold spot!”
It’s a trick to see color, shadow, or anything interesting at this brown-beige time of year. Water helps, the reflection bringing to mind that perhaps there is another world on the other side of the water that is staring back at me.
A sliver of moon, shines through a lace curtain of branches. I don’t bother to try to capture it, knowing these things never look the same on a flat screen. Instead I point my camera to the west, watching color, trying to hold the light.
I am so hungry for beauty to carry and keep, I can’t stop watching, etching memory lines deep, until the last drop fades to black