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.
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.