If I ever look back on this week-end, I’ll recall it as a time when I did what I long believed needed to be done: I latched on to a useful narrative and stayed with it.
It was, thank God, handed to me by circumstance. Ed wanted to work on the Ice Age Trail. I like the Ice Age Trail. I will, this week-end, think about little, beyond the Ice Age Trail.
Yesterday, we worked on building it. Today – well, actually today I cleaned the house and then worked at the little corner shop. But for an hour stuck between the two, and for several hours after work, I thought about National Parks.
Let me just focus on the noon hour. A brilliant noon hour. Almost threatening in its strength and magnificence. Still, anyone can tell that we are way past summer. The air is moving from warm to crisp. I feel the desperation that fills me when I am about to leave a place or time frame: is there something that I can do to keep a fragment of it after today?
It’s a good day, an important day, and it’s passing me by.
Noon hour. Ed and I drive west. Toward the narrow rural road that I regard as near-perfect. If anyone were to ask where, in rural Wisconsin, would I agree to live and prosper, I’d probably say somewhere close to here. (Alright, forget about the prosper. Prosperity is ephemeral.)
A few more twists to the road and we come to a place of future Ice Age Trail activity. And on the other side of the road we find a path leading … somewhere (not clear where).
We haven’t much time, but we follow it. Because, well, there’s so little of the good season left.
Yes, the emergent rusts and reds are beautiful…
…but the meadows are dry, verging on overpowering you with too many earthy tones. Still, can you see the goldenrod? The little daisies? The bee on the violet thistle?
This is where I want to hide, in days that I am running away from all that I should run from.