I slip the collar and leash over Alice’s head and we wander the perimeter of the front yard. “Don’t pay any attention to the bird and mouse cemetery Skeedles is building on the new bark mulch.” Alice snuffles by the bodies with an air of disgust.
We walk over what was a muddy pond last year. The wood pile is slowly drying and turning a lovely silvery gray. The “Who Cooks For YOU!” owl calls to us from across the valley. Green shoots are filling in the scars of the logging operation. It is lovely to not be looking out on an ancient, peeling, yellow log skidder.
Further down, at the crest in the undulating granite of my land, I see hardy acorns are working the clearing and sprouting a million oaks. The earth is rebuilding what we took from it.
Cars whizz by on the road below my perch. I scramble behind Alice through the rubble of stumps to the drive and we descend to the mail box. It is empty. As we begin our climb back up, I look back at the cars and motorcycles; people intent on getting somewhere. My posture becomes a 90 ° tilt to compensate for the steep rise and I think of those winter nights when I gun the engine and pray I will make it to the top.
As we crest the hill, a wall of delicious heat and humidity await. Suddenly I am walking into a sauna, pungent with the smell of grass growing and bees humming. We check the hives from a distance. Both sport dark entrances as the ladies sit on the “stoop” fanning the high-rise to keep the temperature down. They have cleaned up the last of the honey extraction equipment. A plastic pan holds a smallish pool littered with bodies. They gave their lives so their sisters could easily stand on their backs to collect the liquid gold.
People just don’t slow down to see the quiet side of life…