Take a Walk
Passing the chicken coop and feed rooms, I follow the track south before it turns east into what we call the oil road. This walking around my parents’ farm is my version of W. B. Yeats’ “Lake Isle of Innisfree” where “peace comes dropping slow.” Today, I’m calm and my world is calm, but other times in whorls of storms I have made the same journeys and found rays of sun splitting the clouds. It is my land of poetry and magic and imagination. As I pass woods, I know that at least one niece feels the magic too. She’s adamant that Bigfoot lives there and drinks Bud Light. It’s the Bud Light drinking that makes me believe her; no one in the family drinks that. The sky, a blue canvas above, recalls lines written by e. e. cummings, “a blue true dream of sky; and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes.” So maybe Bigfoot does live in the woods. Who am I to say no to my niece or to cumming’s sky in this land of poetry?
Running ahead and around, checking in before darting there and there, the latest dog pack keeps pace. Through the years members and the size of the pack have changed, but have included dogs such as Bugsy who would never leave my side to Pongo who would start the walk next to me and gently hold my hand in his mouth. Now, the pack responds to names such as Trapper, B.J., Chloe, Cleo, Rascal, Snoopy and Tinkerbell, who all walk into the milky-colored pond, their paws creating a blood-colored trail in the water as they churn up the red clay underneath.
I walk through last fall’s leaves lying under trees starting to bud out with this year’s leaves. Past the curious Angus cows lying under the sunny skies making lie today of the old wives’ tale of cows lying down forecasting rain. Earlier in the day they stood while fat drops of rain fell. I follow the old cow paths north through the cedar trees, which Dad battles every year by uprooting and then burning them. Eventually, I turn back west toward home, ready for life.