Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Today I took Schubert for a walk in the meadow across the road.

All of the trails in the meadow have little signposts that say, "5 mile trail," with an arrow pointing up.  This is hilarious to me, even though it means I am afraid to venture too far off the paved bike trail, for fear of walking five miles forever.

It was yet another perfect, beautiful, golden sun shining day.

The sky is so open here, it spreads from side to side in a most delightful way, leaving bounteous space for the fields to stretch out golden with their autumn cornstalks.  Sharing the expanse, acres of goldenrod mirror the sunshine, punctuated by the occasional purple flowers on a gravelroot.  I can turn around in a circle, viewing farmland, fences, groves of trees, low rolling hills, power lines, and off in the distance--because I can see so far--trucks.

It smells good.  I can't describe it, it just smells good.  Earth and sky and sunshine, ripe corn, decaying leaves, bruised grass.  The air feels good in my lungs.  Open, plentiful, limitless.

The sky is so blue.  I'd forgotten that the sky could be blue like this, every day.  I love the sky, all garnished with perfect white clouds, like so many plops of whipped cream floating deliciously above my head.  Maybe that sounds silly, but it's exactly how I felt out there under them.  I wanted to lick a cloud and taste it; they looked that good.

The world is green, yellow, blue and white, and extremely bright.  All things bright and beautiful, says the hymn, all things bright and beautiful.

It's a little bit too hot for the jeans I'm wearing; I should have come in shorts.  Schubert pads along at the end of his leash, jerking my arm when he stops and sniffs, catching scents of rabbits and deer, wondering.  He pants gently, but he doesn't bark.  It is very peaceful in the meadow.  A high school cross-country team is practicing now, silently running, breathing, rubber shoes making one soft thud after another on the trail.  They pass Schubert and me in groups of one or two, swiftly, their bodies glistening with sweat.  I can hear them draw their rhythmic breaths, but they do not speak, not to me and not to each other.

In the silence, cicadas rasp and birds chirp; crickets, too.  Everything is at peace and yet so very much alive.  I have never seen so many butterflies; they appear flickering like special effects in a cheesy movie, except they are real, pure white, solid yellow, now and then a fancy one.

So quiet.  Color has exploded into my life, but the sound has disappeared.  There is nobody to talk to.  At the end of the day when Shawn comes home, he has used up all his words at work, and I have nothing to tell him because nothing has happened to me.   We sit calmly across from one another at the table, and nobody tells us funny stories about what happened in the classroom or suspenseful stories about what happened in the lab.  We are very polite.  We smile and try to be encouraging to each other.  We are tired.

Can beauty compensate for silence?

Would you rather be blind or deaf?


Hope T. said...

This description is so beautiful. I was right there with you in that meadow! I read this post a few nights ago but didn't have time to comment; it has been a hard week. I thought of this description several times, though.

We have been having beautiful weather, also. On Friday, the kids and I and a few families from our homeschool group went to a nature preserve. The view was incredible! From the top of the observation deck, we could see mountains and valleys and even a herd of elk. I wish you could have seen it so that you could write about it.

Beauty does make up for many privations. I don't think it can cover for the silence, though, if the silence is that of no one to talk to. I have many different kinds of noise in my life right now but along with the noise is the silence of my thoughts going around in circles inside my head. There is no one I can or should talk to about my silent thoughts. The beautiful fall days help me cope with the loneliness but a voice that must be silent can't be appeased by anything except song.

I am glad you are writing more.

ruth said...

I think you write about things just fine yourself. You have an exquisite vocabulary and a gift for choosing the right word.