My idea of rambling is to take a short walk and observe whatever comes along. Whether walking around the neighborhood, hill climbing, or fly-fishing, my rambles generally occur near home and offer an opportunity to learn something new about my place in nature and to share it with others. Generally speaking, my rambles fall short of wilderness but I use them to reinforce the sense of our immersion in the wild.
In my view, rambling means participation with the elements of my surroundings, to unearth a few links to the larger realms beyond. I look for the spirit of a place, no matter the locale.
Blackberries may have been the inspiration for a recent walk, but this is hardly a post about pastoral berry picking. In fact, I ventured out along the creek this evening with some thoughts about potential war and genocide, not that I wanted to dwell upon such misery, but because my focus on the matter seemed unavoidable.
It took a group of four wandering raccoons to put me in my place, to see the humor in nature. The ring-tailed family was heading upstream as I paused to wait for it, but the little tribe caught wind of me. The leader stood on its hind legs, peering in my direction, and gave a warning to the others. Time to high-tail for the bunker!
Come on guys, relax. I’m just a gentle spy!
Late-summer crickets chirred from hillside thickets, from blackberry brambles that raked across the tough skin of a walker. Ruffed grouse, first one and then another, exploded from the sumac groves and flushed out the remainder of worldly concern.
The frog pond was alive with damp, big-eyed leapers at the reeds. Leap to survive, my friends; the Two-Legged with the beaver-cut stick is shuffling by.
The clouds moved in aggressively, building on the hilltops with a promise of rain and possibly a thunderclap. I picked another handful of small, succulent fruit, then walked downhill.