Tuesday, August 23, 2011

walking those left turns

What a day...While at work,I was trying to keep up with hurricane Irene and where she is headed and then, unknown to me we had a 5.8 magnitude earthquake. While the area shook and shimmied I worked on in ignorance. After work I took care of an errand and then happily headed home.

Once home I found out that hurricane Irene may actually miss us and that the earthquake was mostly show in this area. Both of which I was happy to find out. To celebrate I decided to start my walk a bit early.

It started out normally. Gather all my gear and start down the path, walk briskly around the pond a couple of laps and then across the field. On the other side I saw that the caterpillars that I had discovered on a bush had pretty much devoured the leaves and had all dispersed. Disappearing to parts known only to them. Two of the near my path spider webs were in tack, but I didn't see the spiders anywhere. The third web had been almost entirely torn down. I couldn't see either of the spiders anywhere. Knowing I was about to push my way through dense brush made me uncomfortable wondering where the spiders were. There is also a very large, unhappy looking praying mantis along the way who watches my every move until I have passed and moved on.

I got through all of this and up the hill without problem. Making my usual left turn I made my way through the woods. Reaching the power lines that crossed the Dirt Road I wandered about looking at flowers and searching for spiders. Wandering back up the hill I started across. About two thirds of the way across I suddenly had a really bright (?) idea. I took another left and started down the hill. Once I had gotten so far down the weeds were so tall that they were towering over my head. Still I forced my way forward. I was rewarded by finding wildflowers that only grow down here closer to the creek. While I don't know the identity of the flowers, I know that the butterfly and hummingbirds love them. I was happily wandering about taking pictures making my way down toward the creek when something moved quickly causing me to stop cold. The size of a ping pong ball, it had to be one of the biggest black and yellow garden spiders that I have ever seen. Running along its web the golf ball sized spider stopped and became still. I too, had grown still as I watched this spider the size of a tennis ball watching me. I debated on ducking under the web and moving on, but the spider...was still watching. Without hesitation I detoured around and trekked through the woods. I much preferred to suffer a little discomfort pushing through high weeds than worry about the softball size spider that was still watching me.

Once I was past the spider I continued on toward the creek. Along the way I found blue wildflowers and then a yellow and white bloom that was just beginning to fade. There was, however a bud waiting to open. I didn't go all the way to the creek but I did get close. I changed my course and started around and back up. Once I was almost a third of the way up I decided to make another left and cross over to where I knew one of the neighbors had made a path for their dirt bikes. As I crossed through the weeds I found more unique wildflowers that I had to stop and photograph.

Finally on the path I started up the hill. I should have brought climbing gear, or an elevator. I did make my way up the hill only to be blinded by the afternoon sun going down. Reaching the Dirt Road finally I decided to quickly check for butterfly or bees on the plants I knew were beginning to bloom on the other side. I didn't have to go very far before I could see, there was not a single butterfly anywhere. Turning back I reached the Dirt Road and made yet another left turn toward home. I stopped only briefly at a neighbors to show off some of the photos I managed to take and then I was back on my way toward the house.

By the time I was stepping back through the front door I had been gone for over two hours. Double my walking time with a lot more exertion. I vaguely remember there is an expression something about nothing worth having comes easy...For two hours I had walked, I had slipped, I had stumbled. I had fought briar, giant spiders and had moments of excitement over wildflowers. For two hours I had forgotten about work, about earthquakes and hurricanes and unavoidable altercations. I'm always so amazed at the gifts that are out there waiting for us. The gifts of beauty, peace, excitement in experiencing moments of up close dealing with something that you may not be all that fond of. An escape from the earthly into the welcoming presence of love. Just one more reason my walks are so special to me.

1 comment:

  1. lovely two hours.....even with the encounter with the basketball sized spider ;)