How I come to be here is another story for another time, Smith Meadow being enough of a story in itself. A clearing in the middle of a parcel of forested land has become dear to many in my family. Part of the farm my father came to the year he and my mom were married, it has had a part in my brother’s lives as they have cared for it in various ways. Lately the forest around it has been harvested leaving wide paths through the pines and hardwoods that are still plentiful. Dark, cool, and full of mosquitoes, the path winds through the forest all the way around the meadow.
Really if it were not for the forest, the meadow would not have the magic that it does. It is a surprise of openness, with a feeling of privacy. It is a secret that cannot be seen from outside. There is a grass covered road through a field of hay by which to approach the meadow. Those who don’t know it’s there, would not notice it at all. From cars on the nearby paved road all that can be seen is a tall wall of trees on the far side of an expanse of timothy grass and clover.
In the aftermath of a disturbing discussion, I stepped out into the meadow looking for some peace, looking for the path into the woods. Trees have always helped me feel sheltered, covered, and aware of their bigness and the smallness of my problems. It was fall when I last walked on the path so the trees were mostly bare and leaves covered the ground. This evening, everything was green from the floor to the ceiling overhead, an endless variety of patterns and shapes in green, green and green…
The path itself is predominantly covered with white clover and grass, almost like it has been seeded. It creates a perfect dining area for deer and I expect to see one every time I go around a bend, but no. Only once did I hear a sound and see the momentary flash of white in the woods. But the grasses were disturbed and flattened in many places all along the mile or so of my walk. The deer had been there.
I returned, along with my mosquito friends, to my abode for the night. This lonely little trailer house, on the edge of Smith Meadow, no electricity, no water – just peace (and mosquitoes).
Today I spent a lot of time sitting in the car, sitting in waiting rooms, sitting… and trying not to fall asleep. When there were a few free minutes at home before dinner, I had to get out and stretch with a walk.
This world is such a beautiful place, and if you don’t have places that bring that fact home to you, you need to find some NOW.
You can come to my place. This is how it looks at sunset on a fairly warm (34 degrees F.) winter afternoon. Enjoy.
I’m reviewing my memorized psalm as I walk. It’s been a while but this part comes easily back to me “As for man, his days are like the grass. He flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone and its place remembers it no more.” How easily I fit into this meadow and take my place with the grass and the flowers as they age.
I get to see it! My gratitude is sharpened because I am daily with people I love who do not get to see it so clearly. How blessed I am. Tonight, across the table from me, one of my people who struggles to see at all, related that even eating had lost much of its appeal. She cannot see what she is eating. I try to imagine eating food that I cannot see.
Today I marveled at how well my computer and internet were working. Today I did ordinary things like cooking breakfast for the husband, writing a letter to a friend. scrubbing sinks and making beds, Today I prayed and considered my family, my friends. Today I took an evening walk.
The sky is getting dark. I expect an afternoon storm. The heat has been overwhelming and we could use some cooling down. Earlier I walked through the field looking for a fly mask one of the horses had lost. I found it but also found so many interesting plants that I could not stop photographing them.
I suppose they are actually weeds, because we would prefer to have grass growing there. But I had to appreciate them for what they are, beautifully and intricately designed. The field is a wild garden that is every bit as fascinating as the ones I’ve admired in people’s yards.
Be glad you can look at it vicariously, in pictures because, like I said, it was really hot out there. I’m glad for the breeze, the clouds, and the thunder. Just sayin’…
I saw this little weed in a flower pot yesterday. Doesn’t it just jump out at you because of it’s detail, symmetry, and well, it’s just plain pretty! I couldn’t pull it out. I want to see what it looks like when it grows up. It is my visual for the day. Something to wonder about. Finding it felt like a message and a gift from a creative, somewhat playful, imaginative mind. Yeah, that’s what it was. Just sayin’… glad I was looking.
Stop. I mean stop doing what you’ve always done, the way you’ve always done it. If you do, you will see different things, different behaviors – and even if you see the same old things, you will see them differently because of the change you have made. We are placed in this world of seemingly endless variety for a reason. Variety and change, they refresh us, stimulate creativity and new thought, and well, just make life fun.
Today it’s gray and rainy, not the kind of day that you think “hey, it’s time to go out for a walk and get all wet”. But I needed a walk pretty badly. I made the mistake of attempting a workout video with Dr. J (who is half my age) over the weekend. Who knew that 25 minutes of half-hearted exercise could produce such pain? I picked up an umbrella and headed out. I’m glad I did. I saw all this.