Today, was a day of struggles. How many times did I dose off? How many times, did mom call and wake me? Will all those catnaps bring about another night of little to no sleep? Only time will answer that one.
I waited until my son came in from work to hike the woods behind the house. The minute he walked in I knew that he had a rough day and wanted nothing but to sit down. I got ready then told him where I was going. Mainly so that if the dogs got a bit rowdy he could calm them down.
Walking out the gate I grabbed my walking stick, adjusted the cameras I carried and headed into the woods. I walked down the hill and part way around the pond. It was obvious that I had waited a bit too late for a hike in the woods as the woods were filling with shadows. Cutting my trip around the pond short I headed across the small field. I keep meaning to go down there early and try to get shots of open morning glory flowers, but I haven’t managed that yet. The way the grass and weeds had grown, it was impossible to tell the lay of the land. I stepped in a couple holes but managed to not fall. I refused to think of what reptilian or insect inhabitants may have been residing among the grass. At the far end of the field, where I had intended to cross the small creek, the ferns had grown so thick and high I decided against trying to get through that.
I started up the hill to a point where I could leave the path and make my way back through the woods and down to the creek. I followed the creek, listening to the sounds of the woods around me. Woods, that spread out before and behind me. Hills on either side, covered with the various types of trees and low growing foliage. Small fern hung over the embankment of the creek.Water splashing and bubbling over the rocks as the birds and insects sang. A hawk screeched from the distance. I stopped and allowed the moment. I remembered all the times as a youth, I hiked this trail How imagination had me in so many roles. The adventurer, the discoverer, the guide, the main player in various stories that filled summer days. The water cool, the water fresh and clear, water that caught up in cupped hands where it flowed over the rocks tasted amazing.
Somehow though, I didn’t recall it ever being quite so hot. Sweat ran down my face and into my eyes. The burning had me deciding I needed to move on. The path crossed the creek several times as it would through the woods. I knew that at the far end, before it reached the end of the woods, the creek branched and the area between was often swampy. There was still a place where I could cross back over and climb the hill. Only actually, now there wasn’t. I found that something or someone had dammed up the creek. A small pool had formed behind the dam. I had to back track.
Once back across the creek I then had to climb the hill. I had to climb the hill, while carrying two cameras and try not to slide down the hill and into the creek. Now the creek is small and shallow. I still didn’t want to damage my cameras by falling. I managed to make it up, across, and back down the other side. I walked back down to the dam but couldn’t swear whether it was made by animal or human.
After a few moments I turned to climb the hill leading away from the newly formed pool. From the humid woods into the burning summer sun. I was reminded time and again why I had always worn long pants on these hikes, briars hurt as they tear against your legs. When I managed to get away from the briars and into a clear area I was able to move more quickly to the dirt road.
As I reached my driveway, I remembered my son telling me about a tree that had broken and the only thing stopping it from hitting the roof of the neighbor’s storage building was another tree. I walked up and rang her doorbell several times but never got a response. I had nothing to leave a note so I came on home. Hopefully the approaching storm won’t cause it to fall and I can try again tomorrow. Earlier tonight when I went outside to get my dog’s bowls I remembered that I had meant to search for a chew stick that I can’t find in the house, thinking Molly may have carried it outside. There I am, walking around my yard in the dark, Both dogs following me dodging in and out of the beam of the flashlight. I crossed back and forth across the yard trying to find a brown chew stick on a brown ground. I didn’t find it, but I’ll try again tomorrow. Giving up I fed them and refilled their water bowl with fresh water.
Now, as a storm approaches, the winds are picking up and both dogs are inside and close. The thunder sounds rough and downright mean. My hope is that this storm will simply follow the river and leave us be here on this side of the hill. Rain, I can deal with, storms in the middle of the night are a little different.
As it is, I’ll finish this, I’ll listen to the neighbor’s music and the music of the storm. Today started off struggling. I wasn’t able to do what I had planned and I feel that I disappointed a friend and let them down. I was slow in doing other things. Now, I sit here and know that there are going to be those days. The times when our plans simply don’t work out as we planned. But I did get to walk, in the woods I know. I did get to take a walk down memory lane. I did get to find moments of peace, in the places I remember them to be. My hope, is that I carry those memories into my dreams.