Leo wanted to go outside today and he brought me my shoes. No slippers outside! We went out and played on the swingset, and then started exploring the yard. Did you know that the swing that we put up 20 years ago is still hanging in the front yard tree?
Together we counted wild kittens, and snacked on end of season tomatoes from the garden. We explored all over my parent’s property and around the run-down mobile home and collection of rusting vehicles nearby. We trudged through tufts of mown yellow straw in the north field and yelled echoing halloo’s into the abandoned wheel lines. We listened to the horses horses whinnying in a nearby corral.
When we got through with all of that, our attention turned to some trees with autumn leaves in the distance. We wandered the field road towards them for a good quarter mile, all the way examining tractor tire tracks in the freshly plowed field, listening to the birds, and gazing at clouds and the occasional low flying airplane. Leo became so interested in our walk that he put his toy cars into his jeans pocket. We found a fluffy white bird feather caught in some weeds and brought it home.
When we finally reached the river bottom we discovered there is no more marshland like it was when I was a girl in the 1970s. The river is another mile west and now there are some small fields where the marsh once was. Perhaps a dozen years ago someone pulled a small camper trailer over the crest of the hill overlooking the grass and patches of dry brush. It’s been there so long, all that remains of their summer play yard are some broken camp chairs and plastic children’s toys hidden in the tall grass; the children are grown and gone. It was only until we had walked down into the bottoms and were coming back up that we were able to see the trailer hidden in the brush on the hillside. For a moment I wondered what it would be like to live in a tiny house in this peaceful place, away from the world.
The sun was low in the sky when we finally climbed back up the steep trail to the field level and headed for home. On the way back, Leo noticed his footprints in the soft dirt of the rutted grassy road and stopped at each one to draw through it with his fingers. Then he decided he was tired and I started to carry him.
We were gone so long my dad began to worry and had been out looking for us for half an hour. He saw us coming back on the field road and drove his car out to meet us.
It was a lovely afternoon. So wish I’d taken my camera. But some things are better in the moment. I wish you could see it, if only in your imagination. So much open space. Farmland, not the crowded suburbs. It felt so “right” to be there. I think we will go walking again tomorrow and I will take it then.
Until our walk I hadn’t realized how lifeless part of my journey has become. Being outside in the fresh air awakened something in my soul. Mom is gone for two weeks and dad says, stay as long as I like.
I don’t want to go back to the suburbs. I don’t mean ever, just right now.