So, I am in day two of NaWriMo (my version with the “Novel” aspect removed), and I am fairly pleased with where I have managed to get in a single day. In case you have not noticed, I am also posting new poetry pieces here as well – also a part of the writing process for me. The first one was Somewhere Someone is Unaware of Experiencing, and the second one The World is Watching, was posted earlier this morning. All of this – the poems, the writing here in the blog, the writing of another project, the Bardic Gwers work I am doing – is focused on me getting better as a writer. A secondary focus, but just as important, is getting me to rekindle my creative fires. Finding ways to not only look at the world around me, but also learning to write about it in a more creative way.
One thing I am quite blessed with is a short drive to work. I live eleven miles from my work place. My drive is six to seven minutes in length. And the best part is that the road is a small farm-to-market road that bisects five different cow pastures. That means that I get to see cows nearly everyday that I drive to work and then from work back to home. Every year, I watch the pattern of farm life happen just outside of my windshield.
I get to see the female cows when they are plump with their unborn calves. They waddle slowly through the fields or stand like giant black statues at the fence line, their rear-ends pointed towards the street. At times, I have wondered if I was driving between a potential 21-gun salute that could go very wrong for me and my truck. So far, in two years, I have yet to see a lifting tail which could signal either a live load getting ready to be fired out, or a flatulent warning shot to be sent over my truck’s bonnet for coming to close to the herd.
However, once the bay calves are born, the fun begins. The early days of the little calf are spent moving unsteadily through the field on shaky, weak legs. These first days are so cute to watch, that I find myself slowing down from my usual fifty-plus miles per hour to just over thirty to catch even a short glimpse of these magnificent little creatures. In a few short months, these same calves can be seen pacing the truck as I drive along the road that borders their fence line. Fast little cows too. And if I roll down the window, I can hear them crying out in their young cow voices, as if they think I am the guy driving an ice cream truck selling warm pommes frites (french fries) on a cold German night.
The road I drive along is maintained by the county, though that might be a bit of an understatement. This road is full of potholes, washed out pavement, and is barely a vehicle and a half wide. With no center line, everyone drives down the center of the road until oncoming traffic gets encountered. Then it becomes a dance of death, particularly when two large pickup trucks met. I drive a Ford F-150, which is a HUGE vehicle for me. However, here in the back-forty of Texas, I am essentially driving a matchbox vehicle. Passing oncoming traffic means that someone is going to put their passenger-side wheels in the dirt on the side of the road. In that small strip is a ditch that seems to always be hidden by tall grasses. One small steering mistake has the potential to take the truck and push it through the farmer’s three-wire fence that holds in the aforementioned cows. And I have not even mentioned the many, many Turkey-buzzards that are constantly in the area. There’s a potential for issues if you are looking at the cows and their baby calves. Well, perhaps the issue is not yours, since I am the idiot that is usually looking at the cows while driving.
There is also the numerous trees, plains, tall grasses, and other plant life that also shows the turning of the Wheel. Or in the case of Texas, the schedule of the rainfall in the area. Among all the browning plant life are smaller animals that live wild and free. Mornings can have rabbits running in front of the truck as they are frightened out of their hiding places in the previously mentioned ditch area at either side of the road. Occasionally, a fox will dart across the road, but that is usually in the evening – and much closer to dusk. That is a sight not usually seen unless I am working late. Being an hourly employee, that rarely ever happens. And then there are the feathered friends that I see everywhere. The crows, the grackles, and the very occasionally raven. All of these birds I consider to be brothers and messengers of a sort. I pay very close attention when these are around to see if I am missing something or doing something that might not be right. In a manner of speaking, these guys serve as a collective Jiminy Cricket for me. And yes, I feed them at the birdbath in my backyard every night.
The night sky for me is a lot clearer than it was for me back down in Corinth. I am an hour’s drive north of where I used to live. There is still light pollution up here near the Texas/Oklahoma border, but nearly as much was down there closer to the metromess known as Dallas/Fort Worth. Every clear night, I try to spend out in the backyard – even if just for a mere ten minutes. Being able to look up at the stars and the moon at night is a joy I hope to never lose.
I am all about finding, exploring, examining and discovering connections to my local area. There are Spirits of Place aplenty here. While many do not seem to care whether humans are here or not, some are interested enough to take a look from time to time. At one time, this area was home to many of the First Nations peoples. Their connection to Crow and Coyote – among others – was strong. Some of that resonates here for me. I may be white in pigmentation, but the color of my skin means nothing to the Gods. I walk with Coyote by side, Crow on my shoulder, and Fliadhas at my other side whispering in my ear. Each of Them are a part of my journey, and I enjoy a unique relationship with each one in turn. And I find Them in nearly every setting I spend time examining, exploring and experiencing.
I truly belong where I am on this Path. And I am lucky enough to spend time continuing along it. /|\