Wednesday, January 16, 2008

My Mile

Do you ever surprise yourself by seeing the beauty around you anew, as if you had forgotten it was there? As if to remind you there is so much to be seen, right outside your own door?

It was unseasonably warm here for a few days. Spring-like warm. It melted the snow and urged us from our cozy spots inside. Jonathan and I decided to take a walk down the road.

This is our mile.

We headed east.

The melting snow was a teaser. No, spring is not just around the corner.

I've grown to love the open expanse that surrounds us. I spent many years longing for trees. Feeling sorry for myself that I had to build a house in a field. And then I looked; really looked. The view is beautiful on my mile.

I.Love.Creeks. (Or 'cricks' if you're from around these here parts.) Here's one that I've visited all my life. Just down the road. On my mile.

I am a trespasser. I do not tresspass with naive abandon as I once did, but I can't resist a path.... where does it lead? Farm lanes are most intriguing. Must... follow... path....

Pink Creek. My father swam in Pink Creek as a boy. Snapping turtles live here. Cows graze by its banks. No matter how intense was the conversation my grrrlfriends and I had while riding our bikes, we had to stop at Pink Creek for a gaze. Or to toss a pebble or twelve. Pink Creek is on my mile.

If I trespass here, I can make my way to mom's house, or to my sister's on the family farm. But the last time i did that I had to answer to a couple of bulls. With horns. And piercing glares. I'll stick to my mile today.

As we neared the corner, at the end of my mile, Jonathan asked if he could run ahead. He'd been doing a slow jog during our entire trip, practicing his Rocky training moves - the grapevine, the sidestep - patiently jogging in place whenever I stopped to take a picture, or to say, "Isn't this a lovely view?"

He was ready to be set free.

On the horizon, home. My childhood home. At the end of my mile is the place where I grew up. Familiar. Comforting. Despite the many changes.

I've gazed upon this view thousands of times. Instead of the east, the great view from my early-childhood bedroom is to the west. Rather fitting I suppose, as according to various cultures and traditions the west corresponds to energy, persistence, water, emotion - the past; whereas the east corresponds to trust, love, compassion, communication, beginnings and growth - my now.

Second-generation pines where I spent many, many hours as a child. I would climb high into the branches and have myself a good sit. No one could see me way up there, and sap-filled britches were a small sacrifice for the incredible view and peaceful solitude. Deep, great problems can be solved while sitting in a treetop. These baby trees (by comparison) await the next batch of climbers. The trees of my childhood were high as the sky. Maybe higher.

Dusk comes, but still I will walk my mile. I've lost my companions. I'm not done soaking up my mile and the lovely, damp, spring-like air, infused with the smell of mud and promise.

This is where I'm supposed to be.


Lynn said...

What a great post, beautiful words and pictures, you sound very content.How lovely to be surrounded by memeories of your life growing up.
I live in a particulary scenic part of the uk but for many years have felt the need to move to the sun.I still would love to be somewhere that had a good hot summer but have begun to realise I have so much around me that I was missing because of my obsession to move.Some time ago I decided to live in the moment and not waste energy on waiting for something to happen and instead be fully "here" and enjoy what I have and take in the beauty around me.
For me your post is not just about the beautiful scenery but so many things we have in our life that we take for granted or be it spouse, children, house, it ties in nicely with a post I read on The new unschooler about our expectations and missing the beauty around us, and serves as a reminder to me not to get hooked into the what if's and if only's.
Thanks for the link to u tube,and your kind comment about my "art"!!!!

My name is Stacie. said...

That was great. I love the pictures, and the story of your youth. Great insights. Kudos.


Wow, that is one beautiful mile you've got there, lady! :O) What an amazing place to be able to reflect on your life... See you on Saturday!


Stephanie S. said...

How lovely to wake up to this gentleness and serenity.
Thanks so much.

Colleen said...

This is lovely Laura. It must be so nice to have your family so close by and to be raising your kids where you grew up. If you ever want to visit Los Angeles I'll swap houses with you--is a view of the Hollywood sign and even trade for your corn fields? :)

Stephanie said...

Beautiful Laura, I don't know why I thought you lived out west...

How awesome for you to reflect on childhood memories while making new ones. I have never lived in one place long enough for such a thing.

Once again I am consumed with your writing, thanks so much for sharing:)

whimsigal said...


What an amazing post! I could swear that a crisp air was all around me as I read that and could feel the terrain under my feet. I felt transported while reading that!

You are blessed my friend, in more ways than one!

piscesgrrl said...

lynn - YES, to everything you said. It has taken me a long while to get here, and I'm still not always here in a present, grateful way. So maybe I just need to take more walks, more time to really see.

my name is stacie - I debate about sharing more stories of my youth. The memories are great, but do they translate as interesting? As I took that walk I couldn't help marveling at how many times I'd gazed upon these same places over a whole lifetime - pretty incredible. I'm far less transient than I ever expected.

s.b.h.m. - It is a beautiful mile - I just love my little road, and I get all Julia-Butterly-Hill when the road commissioners come by looking to take down roadside trees. Jonathan is *giddy* about Saturday!

stephanie s - you're welcome. I owed you a few. Or a couple dozen.

colleen - are you kidding? It SO is. I always hoped to live in a big city pre-kids. For now, it is amazing for them (us) to be near family. It's that solid base I know I need.

stephanie - I lived in Colorado for one year, but otherwise I'm all midwest. I LOVE the west though - I have serious mountain longings.

whimsigal - indeed; blessed to read your kind words this morning

Silvia said...

Hi Laura! I just wanted to let you know the "Learning in the Great Outdoors" carnival is at this site. Thanks for sending your post! Come visit!

Terrell said...

I thoroughly enjoyed your mile. Lovely pics and a wonderful appreciation for home.