Last evening I was at it again, taking an after supper walk. Hadn’t done it in a while – since early summer. But something pulled me outside and I just had to see how things were on Plum Tree, our back road.
The end of summer is like my bedroom dresser. Kind of dusty. And maybe like the leaves are ready, or almost ready, to change clothes. The lawns are weary of being cut and the squirrels dart about, looking up briefly when I pass, and then on with the business of putting by. It hardly seems possible but in a few quick months the wind she will blow and the clouds that once harbored rain will scatter snowflakes instead off raindrops.
A flight of swallows dips and dives above my head as I make my way around the first bend. Gosh, they’re pretty. A distinctive cut to their wings and swift as all get out. What fun it would be to be up there with them instead of having these earthbound feet. But I leave them behind and forge on. One neighbor has covered his roof with solar panels. I wonder how that works and if we should give it a try. Might take something away from the 200 years of charm in our old place, though.
At the next bend I kick through the thick grass cuttings that were thrown onto the road by another neighbor's ride on mower. It will dry and blow away eventually, but I felt like a kid as the clippings flew from the toe of my sneakers. I couldn’t resist.
I wasn’t alone as I walked. Two people were behind me. A young runner with shorts and flying hair. She passed me twice and said a laughing “hi” each time. Yeah, I was going that slowly. My mind was doing just fine. It’s the joints that complain about being too old for this nonsense. I tell them to zip it.
The other girl had on a bright red shirt and held a device in her hand. I’ll bet she was Pokémon Go-ing it. Probably one had been spotted on my back and she’d soon close in for the kill. By the time I’d constructed the whole hunt, capture and victory chant scenario of her chase, however, she had dropped so far back I couldn’t see her. I walk on.
On the last stretch of road I veered off onto the grass twice. Once to snatch a bit of Queen Anne’s Lace to twirl in my fingers and once to check on the bittersweet bush. There was a lot of lace, but sadly, the bittersweet was nowhere in sight. I know it’s an invasive plant and the berries that burst bright red and orange after the first frost are deadly, butI still like it. Perhaps it had succumbed to the blight or something.
At last I turned back onto the county road, on the lookout for traffic and the odd stray deer. Lots of them everywhere this year. Summer’s on the wane and part of me is sad. But I cherish the final busy days of the season. I’m canning and, like the squirrels, putting the garden by for winter. The grandkids are excited for school to start and I wonder where the leaf rakes are. With these thoughts swirling, I reach home, collapse into my recliner and take off my shoes. It was a good walk.