Last night I took a walk; the one I’d hoped to take two or three times a week all summer but didn’t. I laced up my sneakers and stepped out the back door in time to see the deer at the top of the hill near the garden. I quietly moved down the gravel walkway and looking back saw one of them staring at me. Intruder – her eyes seemed to say. In my own yard. Then I headed up the road to Plum Tree Drive where there are only a few houses on the long winding road and where all the wiring is underground so nothing obscures the view.
The main road noises diminished as I walked further on and I suddenly remembered another walk. The one where I saw the cloud formation. Madonna and Child. It formed more clearly with each step I took and amazed me. I kept expecting a gust of wind or the angle of the sun to change it, but that didn't happen. I felt somehow guarded and smiled as I watched. The image didn’t go away until I stopped thinking about what it could mean.
As I rounded a bend in the road and found myself at the bottom of a short rise I thought of the gray cat. At the top of that rise she had sauntered out of the woods onto the road, turned and sat to face me. She'd gently moved her tail to cover her feet and looked for all the world like a queen. Majestic. Composed. I expected her to flee as I approached but no – she just watched. I spoke soft kitty words to her and then, when I actually did get too close, she stood, turned and walked back into the woods. I guess my session with royalty was over, but I was charmed all the same.
Last night, though, there were no cloud visions or queenly felines. I’d walked a ways beyond where I’d seen the gray cat when the swallows began to dart about. Swooping and diving through the air above my head. Joyous in flight. They looked like arrows, swift as Olympians, shot from the Creators bow their dark wings tucked into white bellys tinged with gold. A delight to watch as they dipped and bobbed through the evening air. I envied them.
The dragonflies then darted up from the ditch at the side of the road, startling me. Several of them all at once. A few flew close enough for me to see the lacy patterns of their wings and bulbous eyes. They briefly occupied the airspace beneath the swallows and I felt priveledged to observe Nature’s Dance. I thought of the quillow I’d made for my oldest granddaughter one Christimas using a muted green cotton fabric covered with golden dragonflies.
September makes summer look a little dusty and worn. As I neared the main road I noticed a few sad remnants of Queen Anne’s Lace. Her lovely companions, the cornflowers – blue-eyed and jaunty - had left her. All through the summer their little heads had popped back up together whenever a car or truck whooshed by within inches, the drivers hardly noticing. But no more. The queen’s children are cowering now among bolder weeds that have grown up to crowd them out.
Squirrels were everywhere furtively scrambling for bits to tuck away. As if they know what’s coming. I tried not to think of the house with all the windows shut against winter’s onslaught never mind facing the heating bills again. So I put it out of my mind as I bounced along towards home. The dark days would come soon enough.
What did you do last night?
Image: Theerdech Sanin Free Digital Photos