Flowing water can erode the toughest hills. The stream and river banks can guide the deer and other wandering creatures that adopt the simplest, most efficient routes for finding sustenance. The native tribes and pioneering humans came and walked the animal trails then built their homes and villages nearby. The centuries passed, inviting paved expressways to loop over hills and valleys on the most significant paths and walkways of our time.
Wild roses scent the morning air. I clear high grasses from the paths across my acres, the metallic blade swinging back and forth against the lush new growth as if retracing the original routes of man and deer. I listen to the rapid, rolling zi-zi-ZI notes of a prairie warbler and the dulcet tones of a wood thrush drifting across the hollow. I am drawn by the romance of frontier life and the unsettling notion that our early history and heritage become increasingly remote with time– a stream that’s swallowed by a river waving into the sea. A wild yellow iris captures and sustains my attention for a moment where I skirt a wetland near the house.
At its summer meeting on Pine Creek, the Slate Run Sportsmen group voted to deny support of a state proposal to increase ATV trails near the pristine waters of Slate Run. The group said (in essence), Not So Fast: development of motorized recreation might be good for area business but would be an incompatible use of public funds for a green place currently enjoyed through quieter activities such as fishing, hiking and canoeing.
I repaired from the meeting to the nearby gorge at Cedar Run. With fly rod in hand, I followed the trail of the wild trout, mountain laurel and water-thrush. Ah, yes! Here, the slower ways of nature, with a happy voice inside my head– an echo of those voices that could help apply the brakes to an expressway through the woods.
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“Bonus track,” from my new sea & island-drenched collection Slow Sea Rising… available at Amazon as well as here….
I cast long feathers on a hook,
Wishing I had fins.
My dreams lie underneath the waves.//
Learning how to snorkel
I can hear the mouthpiece say–
Nothing fits! Your brain is like coral
Scattering the blues.//
I cast long feathers every day.