Morning was a bit too early for me to walk today, but I know that one day missed is a very hard habit to break, so we determined to get out later,
and we did.
We carried the mail up, which always brings up memories of designing this mailbox, so round and so green, covered with lichen, and the number not so much painted in white finger nail polish any more, but etched into the metal where the polish underwent some kind of stunning chemical transformation.
It was during a rough patch, when every single housebuilding thing was going wrong, and it felt like everyone was against us when the mail carrier – whom we never met – left a little sketch in the mailbox. A design improvement. A wordless message.
“I see what you’re trying to do, and even though I had to leave the “this does not conform with Post Office specifications” pamphlet, I have been thinking about how to accomplish your goals within the specs.”
Thank you, anonymous stranger, rural postal carrier, for saving our family’s morale with an act of kindness.
Friends, I would love for folks to be able to walk along with the dogs and me using my Kindle book of Morning Meander poetry. It’s on a 99-cent sale this week, so that we can all walk, write, create, meditate, and pray together from September 23d to November 1.
And most beautiful of all were Sgiobalta’s feet. (say SKIPple-ta)
Her name means “quick, neat, precise, like a dancer’s feet” And I watched her tritty-trot about a hundred yards straight toward me never breaking into a lope, never stopping to sniff or saunter, just a sweet, quick trot exactly like a dancer.
Have you ever watched a Highland dancer – one of those competitions? Their torsos and arms so steady while feet fly in precision and power, but unrestrained pigtails can fly?
When Sgiob trots like that, it makes her ear-tips dance.
We walked in the middle of the night last night and Saturn was leading the moon to the horizon like a lover. But Saturn was following Jupiter who had run ahead below the line where I am told that they still are planet, they still move steady in their marches,
But what if I didn’t have to believe those words? What if I could believe the story in my head that they suddenly twirl and dance to the music of the spheres and spinning spun the arms and legs out of the center
— because centrifugal force —
and dancing ribbons and balls and the gods, once they have set, are wild expressions of power
and then, because they are deep expressions of place in the Cosmos, they return from that dance at the moment needed to define Time and keep us on our course.
The dogs startled a barn owl this morning quite close to me.
His startled cry sounded manufactured to my ears, as though they had set off an alarm, and I imagined that our seldom-appearing, car-camping neighbor had been disturbed and I was already forming an apology – so lengthy and strident was the first wailing note.
But then it turned to an owl sound, a classic Hu-Huuuu! which I assume is a barn owl because I know it is not a barred owl (who cares so much that someone cooks for me), and I imagine that screech owls do not say Hu-Huuu and that our sometime snowy visitors from far to the north do not say a single thing, except to whisper stories of the aurora to their children.
We went further today, down the public road that is fine for hiking or snowmobiles or logging with a team and sleigh.
How lovely — I was simply following the dogs and watching them bounce and calling them back from the neighbor’s long drive into deep woods — when I looked up and was somewhere I did not recognize.
It was delicious. Have I been here before? Perhaps on another walk in another year, but this particular open space on my right with this amount of morning light at this angle, I definitely did not recognize.
I was both in a new place and close to home;
I was both alone in the woods and surrounded by excited walking companions.
Yesterday I hit a rough patch. I hit a culture clash that I’m still reeling from.
Alors. Onward. I know I can’t process the hard stuff without motion.
At first glance, our road, our class five dirt road, ends in a cul-de-sac with two gravel and dirt driveways spoking off from it into the woods.
In truth, our road does not end, it merely transforms into a class six road which quietly leads off between those ways.
Class six means, “If you have a team of horses and a logging sledge, you’re probably fine.”
It does not mean, for example, “It would be a great idea to try to get through with your four wheel drive vehicle.”
I have promised myself the pleasure of walking this part of the road for over twenty years, but there’s something that holds me back. I’ve been down a couple of times, maybe for a hundred yards, but always an excuse comes to me – too many swamp bugs as the way leads down, down to a very wetland.
I made it down those first hundred yards this morning.