Monday, April 17, 2006

My Sunday Shadow

Monday, April 17, 2006
After our fabulous Easter dinner in town at the home of the BT2's, our little family foursome retreated to our farm and went in four directions, all of us needing some alone time.

Following a failed nap attempt, I followed my shadow on a walkabout.

First, he pointed me west, toward the setting sun. It was 6:45 pm. As I entered our old, barely hanging on orchard, I naturally took the northernmost path, past our old sweat-lodge frame, past the middle-orchard bluebird box (five warm eggs), and onto my favorite path, Secree. Secree (our slang for Secret) is the section of the north orchard path that is totally closed-in in summer with grape vines, Virginia creeper, and poison ivy, creating a dark, green cave. It's a place I love to visit on summer evenings. For some reason, the wood thrush songs sound so much sweeter from this, my secret spot.

I found the Secree path blocked by a blown-down yellow poplar tree. This is a common occurrence on our farm--these poplars dislike strong wind, so they just give up the ghost and topple over. I made a mental note to get the chain saw out here soon. Must keep Secree passable.

I love the filmy yellow-green effect created by millions of tree buds in earliest spring. After a long, gray winter, it's so nice to begin our journey across nature's color palette once again.

My shadow showed me where the spring's first Blackburnian warbler will be making his appearance in a few weeks, maybe less.

There are incredible, soft mats of moss all over our farm. My shadow stretched out for a nap on this lush clump. And after taking a macro shot of the moss, I decided to do the same. No need for a blanket, the sun covered us both in its warmth.

Our oil well was the next place I caught up to my shadow. He was wondering about something--it appeared to be troubling him. This realization caused me to give an involuntary shiver. If shadows have problems, what hope is there for the rest of us?
I brushed this turn of mind off as a side-effect of too much rich food in the middle of the day. Little did I know, "a ghost was about to step across my grave," as my grandma Thompson used to say.

While checking this vernal pool for tadpoles (there were many) I had the distinct feeling that someone was watching me. Then I heard footsteps in the nearby copse of pines. And for a moment, I swore I saw a dear old friend, walking toward me, smiling. But I know that she's long gone. It's a dream, only a dream, and it's fading now.

I walked back through the meadow, sun on my bare shoulders, heading home. The house was coming back to life, and I needed very much to do the same.