Organizing some old writings, I came upon this from eighteen or twenty years ago. Heathcote Community, Maryland:
A walk will clear my mind, align my north and south poles with some psychic axis. Just to lay foot to gravel is to become a child walking safely down the hallway in my mother’s house. As I watch my dog soaking in stimulations, her day speeds up as mine winds down.
I fold down, despite my back, to the various nuts and acorns on the gravel road. I begin a pocketful for the goat. She likes the acorns, before their hats call off. But it’s late in their season and most lie bald, fallen soldiers in random clusters, sleeping silent and just among a roughly equal number of empty acorn hats. Car tires have cracked the bulk of them.
But here in the gravel, among the ones splintered like baby beer barrels, are the survivors, full with the audacity of a late October warm spell. Here, in the road, dozens of acorns are sprouting. Haven’t they heard the one about the seeds in the road versus the seeds in fertile ground? Are they fooled, or am I, into believing a human account? They sprout in might twists, the colors of lime rinds and Thanksgiving cranberries. They lie there, swimming in magical Maryland mica, The gorgeous glitter that penetrates the soil, the stones and my shoes. As I stoop in the road wearing Dorothy’s ruby slippers, how could I doubt that this is a place of endless possibilities?