At the end of the day, I drive to Ed’s place. A dozen minutes from city center, it has the feel of deep country, just as he likes it. I like it to an extent. For instance, the farmers – I am forever mesmerized by the work of the Hmong family that has been farming next to his land this year. Today, they made the final rounds. Flurries this evening. Frost. Last pickings.
The school bus drops children off. A cluster of girls. The solo boy trails behind. Not city children, not suburban either. Stuck in a strip of countryside that attempts to remain rural. By a hair’s wisp.
Ed’s shed is as he likes it. Cats pace, waiting for a feeding. I pace too. I think how different he and I are. And I don’t mean at the level of lifestyles. Sometimes our differences are adventurously challenging, in a good way. Sometimes.
I want to go for a walk. A quick one. Before the sun disappears.
We head toward the old railway tracks. Abandoned and overgrown. Who do they belong to? The sign says C.&N.W.R.R.
They considered making this a rail corridor, linking Madison with Oregon and beyond. But it was voted down.
The tracks look irreparable. For rail. Maybe a future bike path? (The Badger State trail comes to mind). But, you cannot walk far now. Private property. Whose?
The remains of a farmland sunset. Tinted sky, splashes of light and then dusk.
I drive back to my warm kitchen in the condo, where irises and lilies are blooming and Stacey Kent is singing about the ice hotel.