Song of the Open Road

I heard the echo of Walt Whitman as I treated myself to a solo walk through the woods Sunday morning (which turned out to be a nice palette cleanser for the stress of that crazy Packer game.) Fog lifted as I strolled along and that felt like a metaphor.

We humans breath a little deeper in the woods and we think a little clearer. I think our winged and furry friends do too.

I saw a flock of turkeys slink backward from the path into the trees and I wondered at their attempted stealth. Wild turkeys normally make a raucous noise, hurling themselves away in loud, awkward fits of panic. But, perhaps because they saw me armed with my trusty Nikon, these turkeys seemed to tip toe away strategically, one wing held to beak, shhhhhhh!

I chuckled as I made my way past and called out softly, “It’s ok. I’m only shooting with my camera!”

A deer jumped across the path ahead of me so I stopped and held my breath. Another followed and then another. I counted eight of them and I wondered if they were an extended family or a group of friends out whooping it up on an unseasonably warm October afternoon.

“Stay safe, buddies,” I thought. “There’s only 38 frolicking days until gun deer season.”

As I looped around a still pond and along a grass-covered dirt road, I saw a tiny purple flower sticking bravely up. I saluted it for hanging in there through seasons, tractor tires, hooves, feet and paws. When I bent down to take its picture, I noticed a small bee working hard, resting on one small petal, and I marveled at the giving nature of every living thing.

Real adventure awaits those with the time and means to seek it.

But, it also beckons from the inhale of a deep breath midway through a lovely walk on a precious, ordinary Sunday afternoon.

Afoot and light-hearted, I take to the open road. Healthy and free, the world before me.
The long, brown path before me, leading wherever I choose.
Henceforth, I ask not good fortune. I myself am good fortune.
Henceforth, I whimper no more, postpone no more. Need nothing.
Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms,
Strong and content I travel the open road.
The earth, that is sufficient,
I do not want the constellations any nearer,
I know they are very well where they are,
I know they suffice for those who belong to them.
(Still here I carry my old delicious burdens,
I carry them, men and women, I carry them with me wherever I go,
I swear it is impossible for me to get rid of them,
I am fill’d with them, and I will fill them in return.)
You road I enter upon and look around, I believe you are not all that is here,
I believe that much unseen is also here.
You air that serves me with breath to speak!
You objects that call from diffusion my meanings and give them shape!
You light that wraps me and all things in delicate equable showers!
You paths worn in the irregular hollows by the roadsides!
I believe you are latent with unseen existences, you are so dear to me.

10 thoughts on “Song of the Open Road

  1. Laura, you’re not only a wonderful writer, but a talented photographer as well. Always enjoy your blogs.

      1. So glad that I had a chance to meet you and Vince in Palm Springs (introduced by S & M Nofzinger) Your blogs have had me hooked ever since. So thanks much for interesting reads to brighten each day. I’m sure most of your readers would agree. Cheers.

      2. Thank you for this day-making comment Gene. Hopefully we’ll see you in Palm Springs again someday. I remember when Mike introduced us.

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