Ugh-this weather! Spring in the South is unpredictable at best. Warm temps for weeks, days spent working in the yard and throwing the windows wide to let in the warm breeze while deep cleaning, and now this, a cold streak.
As I load the grandbaby and drive her back to Gadsden, I notice the temperature gauge in my car. It reads 40 degrees. And, it is raining. When I park and walk her in, I realize with a start that this time last year, Isaac and I were in England and Whales. From daybreak until sunset we had walked in the rain, chilled to the bone. This morning looks, smells and feels identical –identically miserable. In Ireland several days later, the rain had tapered off but the persistent chill lingered. I dreamt of luxuriously hot baths and my own bed. With just this brief lapse of time, memories of the trip now hold a golden patina. Until this morning, I’d forgotten the soul-sucking weather.
We could be half-way to a city we have never seen…
This thought brings a smile and a deep yearning for some place warm; for does not warmth sometimes bring with it happiness?
A trip today is impossible. But soon enough there will be time. Today, I can enjoy rural Alabama.
Although it is cold now, I know the Southern sun will burn away the chill quickly.
And it does, almost immediately. The rain stops, the clouds clear.
Perhaps there are minute things about us, as people, that change as we grow but our base –the principal part of us -seems to stay the same. I seek out warmth and comfort when out-of-sorts. And, a book to get lost in.
For me, sublime is defined as a warm place to snuggle in and read, breathe in fresh air and be lulled to sleep by songbirds and sunshine. When I was young, I’d hike Dunnaway Mountain behind my parent’s home in search of the perfect spot. Today, I am wandering along a friend’s pastureland. Happily, I do not know where their property ends and someone else’s begins!
Private Property –what does that mean, exactly?!
God gave me long legs for a reason~
I find a cozy spot with an amazing view and settle in to read. Yet all around I find things that draw the eye.
What is it about the smell of cedar that draws? The smell of the oils that seep within your skin..
I concentrate on the travel book I’ve read a half a dozen times. Frances Mayes writes about old towns, culture and WORK! It is why I return to her writings again and again. When I squint, the sun dances between my lashes. It is so warm.
I awaken to the sound of hooves against hard soil. A massive bull has unknowingly run near me and it is the sound of his hooves -the mighty weight of his hooves slurping against the pull of red Alabama mud-that jolts me completely awake. Jesus, God and Mary! Until this moment, I’d been unaware there was a bull in the pasture!
Walking calms. I gather my things and decide to roam the hills; one more beautiful than the other calls until I am there, looking back across the lake and beyond to another even more glorious field that beacons as well. My darling cousins, the Pentecost clan, lived on a farm. I was always envious of their lolling pastureland that sidled up to Green Valley Mountain.
There are three tiny woodland ducks on the water. They are small enough to be bass bait. Two dive below the glossy surface of the water and I find myself counting. 1, 2, 3, 4… Just as I catch my breath, they resurface and the three swim on. They continue on in this way, two disappear deep down below. And, I wonder –does one always stay atop, afloat as watchman, or does he count his brothers’ time off down below; do they keep score, these animals free to play?
A lone swan swims, seeming not to have a care in the world.
I want to be that swan.