Sunday, November 25, 2012

Always a Breeze

One autumn morning earlier this year, 
my husband and I walked along a creek
that runs through a park in the county where we grew up.
Purple rocket flourished on the banks, along with tall golden flowers 
that looked like a cross between a black-eyed Susan and a sunflower.
The grass along the sidewalk was dotted with dock and plantain.

Near the end of the path tall cottonwood trees rose from the creek bed,
and as we walked by, a gentle breeze rattled their leaves.
Decades ago, my husband and I walked near cottonwoods in another place,
and he remarked that there's always a breeze under a cottonwood tree.
Its poetry caught me by surprise, and I've always remembered it.

Photo courtesy of

 To get to the pathway along the creek, 
we had crossed a footbridge with silvery metal railings
and after we saw the poplar trees, 
we crossed back to the other side over a walkway with red railings.
The bright red looked out of place, even uncharacteristically cheerful,
in a region given to a no-nonsense, utilitarian approach to life.
But I enjoyed the pop of color.

After our walk along the creek, there were other sights and sounds:
mockingbirds and blue jays calling from the trees,
a roadside stand selling pumpkins harvested from local fields,
an Amish couple selling handmade baskets next to their horse and buggy.
Finally we returned home after traversing endless miles of highway 
under the watchful eyes of red-tailed hawks.

There is something comforting in the common and everyday.
I like to think that is where magic is found. 
 Phillip Levine said it best:
Let your eyes transform what appears ordinary, commonplace,
into what it is, a moment in time, an observed fragment of eternity.

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