Thursday, March 24, 2005

Yukon Ho!

I took a walk in the grass. This time of year it varies from thigh-high to ankle-length, depending on where you stand. The hills are thick and green, rather than dry and yellow and this place doesn't quite feel like home. Springtime is a chromatic anomaly, but it's also the only time you can walk in the grass. In a few months, the weather heats up enough that the rattlesnakes come out. And even in winter, the fields are full of stickers and walking in the brush usually results in an equal amount of time picking pointy weed parts from your socks.

As I walked, I kept crossing paths where the grass had been smashed down in a straight line. Evidently, something — or less likely, someone — had made a trail through this area, even I usually think of this grassy extension of my backyard as being deserted. For whatever reason, I followed the trail. I walked for more than an hour in this little universe of green and blue, climbing over rotting trunks and through wet creeks in a Calvin and Hobbes fashion that I remember from when I was a little kid.

Eventually, I came to a little body of water. Not a lake or even a pond, but enough to splash in if I chose to. (I didn't.) It's entirely possible that this pond only existed as a result of all the rain and had never existed quite this way before. I didn't recognize it, but I also can't say that I had ever been in that specific location ever before. A buzzing noise hit my ears and I saw a biplane flying over my head. I looked down and finished watching this antique aircraft in its reflection in the water. I didn't know where I was. I wasn't sure which direction would most quickly take me home. And, as that plane flew over, I wondered how long I'd been gone.

*****

I know haven't written lately. I can't. I just don't have it in me. Words, I guess, are more powerful than I thought, whether they're a blessing or a hex or a simple statement of fact. "Hey. Things aren't the way you think they are." And like that, I feel like the wind's knocked out of me. If you must have a mental image to understand, picture a word balloon from some comic strip. The words are still there, but it's completely deflated and sitting on wet ground.