Sunday, April 3, 2011

Work and Play





This tree snapped off and was stuck in another tree holding it off the ground. This flat fungus was growing on the bottom which made me think it had been cut at first until I got closer to inspect its leathery growth.




This is all one tree reaching to the heavens.


A throne in the forest.








Planting had begun and she drove the tractor back out to plow a new section. She and her sister had made this farm grow and have promise. Her children had grown and started their own lives. Living nearby made it easy to visit in her car, roads permitting. She had gotten stuck once and it took two days to pull her free of the springtime muss. She had sold the horses that she used to farm with to a new couple down the road. Occasionally, she would walk down and take one for a ride through the meadow along the stream. She could remember many picnics taken down through this area. One family that owned the property had made a little bench and table to eat at. Her brother-in-law had rebuilt this with a ramada a few years earlier just to keep up the area and memories.


Stopping by the stream she tethered her horse and listened to all the sounds surrounding her. She heard the water almost make a chant, perhaps a song it seemed. Braiding the stems of some flowers, she stuck the tiny garland behind her ear and fell asleep. When she woke up the sun had moved behind the hillside and a distant rumble announced another rain coming from the west. Getting on her horse she rode to the top of the hill and saw the clouds moving rather fast. She reined around and headed back toward the farm. The shower followed and started as soon as she had the horse in the barn, she raced for the porch and watched the clouds darken the horizon all around. Her neighbor brought out some tea and they marveled at the lightening strikes and rumbles as they passed as quickly as they arrived.


Walking home she collected a lot of mud on her shoes. Kicking her foot in the air to dispel a chunk, she had forgotten she had untied her boots sitting out the storm. The piece of mud and her boot went flying ten feet in front of her. Standing like a stork, she tried to decide what to do and tried hopping to her boot. The other shoe came off also and tripped her. Getting up she was a bit sore, and very muddy. Taking off her socks she plodded through the muck, enjoying the cool mud squishing through her toes.


When she got home she filled a milk can with water. Picking it up over her head she turned it upside down and was cascaded with cold water. It took a bit for the chill to go and she splashed off her muddy feet. Pumping hard she scrubbed to get the clay off and sat in a chair on her porch to dry off. She was as wet as she would have been walking in the rain and giggled to herself. What a wonderful day this had been, and a good break in her planting schedule. Her laughter was carried over the treetops, on a gentle prairie breeze.

.

...

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I really am more than you will ever see

Unless you stand tall and feel my ambience

Hold up your hands to the sun, moon, stars and life

Face all troubles as life’s essence not strife

Let happiness reign free coming from your heart

Feel the spirit on a gentle prairie breeze.

24 comments:

  1. ! I am in love with this piece of writing!! I could picture it all so clearly...and applauded her loudly when she decided to just carry on through the mud in her bare toes!!!!
    My favorite so far (until next time?:)

    Love how you found shoots and bits of green in an otherwise very brown scene.
    Thank you for this wonderful post!!!

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  2. Sweet story and love those spring bulbs. :)

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  3. beautiful pictures and a great little story vignette.

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  4. I am still waiting to see our flowers come up. Soon I hope! Looks like a great hike :) Love the shot looking up into the trees. So calming.

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  5. Love the throne in the forest! I'd be tempted to rest there. (But only if I were wearing very sturdy jeans!)

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  6. At least it's finally warming up for you! Like the tall tree shot!
    Happy Sunday!
    hughugs

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  7. The first picture of the little dog looks like it is laughing. Marvelous story. I do love walking in a nice summer rain.

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  8. Love the crocuses! I can't wait for spring to bring the chant of running water, and new growth popping up everywhere. It's my favourite time of year, especially when there still aren't any bugs.

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  9. That first shot of Lily just made me laugh, how cute.

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  10. Spring continues to come to the prairie, and you're documenting it so well. And you have a lovely little hiking partner, too. The throne in the forest reminds me of the first time that Doug and I found a quiet little reading spot on a hill in the Smokies. We pushed small boulders to the base of trees, sat on the rocks with our backs against the trees, and read, enjoying the solitude. We've returned to that spot many times, but now we take chairs. :)

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  11. This post reminds me of all the things I love about spring - muddy boots included!

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  12. Love the little one's cheesy grin -- she melts my heart. :)

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  13. Not a bit of snow in sight in these photo posts and wonderful yellow colors of spring blooms, Steve. Very nice writing and one can almost picture her trying to hop on one foot and get her boot.

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  14. I love this story, too. This is by far one of my favorite! The sunlight on the moss, Lily's sweet face, the towering tree top, and yellow, yellow, yellow! Just wonderful, Steve.

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  15. Your story makes me think of one of my most recent hiking trips. I'm still trying to get the mud off my boots.

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  16. Hi Steve, She had a wonderful attitude---and there's something 'freeing' about playing in the mud!!!!!

    Love your pictures...My fav today was the tree reaching to the heavens.... That was GREAT!!!!

    Back from vacation --trying to catch up a little!!!! You would love Arkansas.. It's laid-back and quite rural and untouched by progress.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  17. I like always very much your series of photos. Your dog is so cute.

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  18. Nice shots - wish I could do that. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment

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  19. That little Lily face up close to the camera just cracks me up. She looks a lot like my neighbour's dog whose name is Raven. Everything sticks to her coat though.. everything.. burrs, clumpy snow, birdseed, fluff. I've long since nicknamed her Velcro. Your Lily reminds me of her. :)

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  20. Bare toes in the mud...my kinda gal! It doesn't get much better than feeling that squish.

    I'm constantly amazed at the stuff that grows on trees. My brother-in-law has a forestry degree and says trees are much like humans, in that they catch all sorts of stuff, too.

    We lived on the equator in Kenya and didn't have AC. Equator weather is about the same year long (which can be kinda boring, actually.)

    As always, great photos. Thanks! (We actually had a sunny day yesterday. Massive storm hit last night, temps dropped, back to winter today.)

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  21. Thanks for visiting my blog. I am glad to have found yours as I am a bit homesick for the midwest. My family moved from there when I was 13 and I have never been back. LOVED your photos!

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  22. OK... that's it, I Have to ask; where do you get your lovely stories? Do you write them from your immagination, or are they stories of family, friends, ancestors (I am family history minded... :). In any case, they are charming, and take me to another peaceful place, perhaps somewhere "out on a prairie." ;D

    I just really enjoyed reading this, and really am curious about where this, and other lovely stories of yours come from... please do tell! And thanks so much for sharing!
    Corine :D

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  23. Nice spring photos, Lily looks like she is having a good time.

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  24. Great vignette. Compassion for others and admiration of the character qualities that are honed and revealed in an honest life shine out in your work.

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Keep it positive and informative,I enjoy hearing from you!