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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…

15 comments on “Seeing…

  1. Touring NH says:

    I think the biggest problem many people face is they are always in search of the destination and forget about the journey. They forget, life is short! And getting shorter every day.

    1. So true Laura and sadly it sometimes takes a tragedy to make them aware.

  2. julieallyn says:

    60 Minutes last night had a wonderful story about mindfulness. I spent a luscious few minutes in bed this Labor Day morning exulting in the fullness of each deep breath and tried to clear my mind so as to focus on nothing at all really except being there in the moment. This post of yours continues that mindset. 🙂

    1. Thank you Julie. Do we have to reach a certain age before the concept of mindfulness is apparent? I wish I could find the words to teach others the importance of just being in the moment at least once a day!

      1. julieallyn says:

        Great observation. Even just once a day — a worthy goal and incentive to strive for more!

  3. alinekaplan says:

    You can identify owl calls on the Audubon Society’s eNature web site–lots of other birds too. The owl page is located at:

  4. I can remember being more exhausted after vacation than I was before. I don’t miss it.

    1. What is important, I think Allen is to know what you are “vacationing” from!

  5. cheryl622014 says:

    I so agree. I try and make my lunch hour and Thursdays off vacations every time. And so I discovered a hidden little courtyard next to an old Pump House, almost Mediterranean, in the middle of Wellingborough – such a lovely surprise – along with good coffee

    1. Ah, great discovery, Cheryl! Even an hour can seem like a vacation if you just narrow your focus, right?

      1. cheryl622014 says:

        Can be an absolute life saver at times!!

  6. Marie Keates says:

    The pace of life is just too fast these days I think.

    1. Agreed Marie. It is so nice to find someone else who “stops to smell the flowers” every day! Thank you!

  7. Nolsie says:

    Well I slowed down to see the quiet side of life just then, thankyou Martha!

    1. Ah, thank you Nolsie, I’m happy to have struck a chord with a fellow writer!

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