I went for a walk in my neighbor’s woods. I got out of the habit of walking there. Going back was like meeting an old friend.
Because it’s raining the orange salamanders are out. They almost glow against the ground of graying leaves. I try to “see wide” but my eye is drawn to where I step, so I don’t step on them.
I think of adding specks of orange to my quilt. The woods are so green they seem to have little to do with my quilt which is all about red. Green seems like air in comparison. But I can feel those warm grounding colors under my feet as I walk.
The sun is resting behind a thick of cover of clouds today, and the woods are dark. But we get to the place where small blocks of yellow from the distant hay field are visible between the trunks of the trees.
Again I think of my quilt. Of the light in the printed batik image of the sky above the crows. It’s the same pale yellow.
As we walk through the ferns, my wet sneakers cool my feet, I forget about “seeing wide” and remember my dream from last night.
The giant python was wrapped around the man’s neck and arms as if it were a shawl. There was nothing scary about the snake, even though I was aware it could easily squeeze the man to death in a moment. He told me that his girlfriend wouldn’t live with the snake if she didn’t know what it tasted like. Horrified I asked if he would kill the snake so she could eat it. He said he wouldn’t. And I knew he’d find her some snake to taste from the grocery store.
I still don’t know what the dream means, but it keeps coming back to me.
I’m brought back into the woods when I see Zinnia waiting for me at the bottom of the hill. As we approach the pond I hold my hands out on either side of my body and say her and Fate, “let’s walk”. The dogs drop back behind me. Fluffy white cottonwood seeds, pummeled by the rain, spot the ground like mold, as we get closer to the pond.
I keep the dogs close so they don’t go in the pond which is mostly mud covered in green algae. Fate isn’t interested but when Zinnia sees an opening in the tall grasses she heads towards it. “Eh, Eh,” is all I need to say to get her attention. I’d already asked her not to go in the pond and I think she understands, but just can’t help herself.
The mud is too enticing.
The tree cover is so thick in the woods we’re only damp from the walk. The dogs hop into my car and we drive, windows down, the minute or so back to the farm.
The woods were welcoming and the rain cleansing. The gray skies mirror my mood.
For a while last week I couldn’t feel anything, so being a little low is fine. It actually makes me soft like the light and connected to the gray day around me.