I walk to and from work each day, a mile and half each way. in all kinds of weather. I park on the far side of a large field of grass, that houses on some days the soccer team of the University.
The field is an odd friend. We have built a relationship we two. I have walked across it in the winter months and marveled at the leafless trees, the silent snowfall and the ducks who walk across it leaving the tiniest footprints. I try to make note in my brain of one amazing thing about the field each day. In the winter it is a frozen wonderland, with snow hiding it’s imperfections under the perfect blanket of white , fresh snow. The trees lose their leaves and and you can see the small trail ( that I always have the urge to follow) and a weathered gazebo that beckons you to sit in the chair. Winter allows you to see those gifts.
As spring arrives, the trees begin to bloom and bud, the field turns from frozen ground into soft dirt and one day you blink and it is green. You can’t remember what winter looked like, as it is replaced with a lush green field. The mowing begins and smell of sweet freshly mowed grass lingers in the air. The field is a short cut per se, it saves a few steps towards the car and one knows at the end of the field awaits warmth or cooling depending on the season.
During the spring season, I watch the flowers bloom and the walk becomes strewn with bright fresh flowers, whose names I don’t know, but whose beauty I enjoy. The spring rains only improve the shade of green into a lush field that if I use my imagination is somewhere besides Iowa. At the end of my walk each day awaits the field. Awhile ago while walking one day, I was overcome with the desire to feel that grass under my feet, but surely passersby would think I had gone mad. So I resisted and then one day, I said to myself. The hell with it and began taking my shoes off at the edge of the field and relishing that short 5 minute walk through the lush green grass. As the grass enveloped my feet in softness, it was an escape. For 5 minutes everyday, my feet escape from my shoes. A secret childhood pleasure revisited.
I continued to do this daily for about a month, I actually looked forward to that part of the day. The part when I could release the days woes into the grass and feel a secret delight in walking in that grass sometimes just after the fresh rain, sometimes dry and brittle a little like acupuncture. Until the snake showed up. I was just removing my shoes for the daily ritual and I saw the slither out the corner of my eye. I hate snakes, and I saw the yellow and black wiggler move quickly through the grass. I jumped a little and proceeded through the grass at a quick pace, watching for his brothers.
Now, I have had to work myself back up to stepping into my field, trying to summon my bravery, I would not have this delicious pleasure of walking barefoot through the grass stolen from me by a snake. A Hawkeye snake, after all he was yellow and black. But it was difficult, I am not fully back, but continue to walk with shoes through the field.
Fall is coming , snakes get cold and disappear, I am patiently waiting. The ground will return to hard and frozen and the cycle will begin again. I will walk across the frozen field the earth crunching beneath my boots, and I will enjoy the journey.
Until next Time,