My liitle big dog Arye and I were on our morning walk. We had come from a loop in the woods and were returning to our vehicle on the distant side of of a very large hay field. There was a light wind, the sky was absolutely clear. There was no wisp of cloud, just deep pure blue. Somewhere up there, from the southwest, came that ubiquitous sound of a high-flying airliner. It was up there, possibly forty thousand feet or more. The air mass was so stable and dry that no contrail appeared. The aircraft was invisible to my eye
The thought came to me about a hundred or more bombers up there, preparing to loose a rain of thousands of tons of death nearby and maybe on my head. Where do you run? It was a chilling thought. How many people have endured such terror? How lucky most of us are to never know a feeling which at best, we can only imagine. Why would I conjure up such a nightmare? It was a perfect day. I don’t know. But then that’s what writers do, think out of their box or, is it about going outside other’s boxes?. Some of us are regarded as nutters. That’s fine; I don’t want to fit in with the status quo. But for the moment I had another indelible reality to cope with.
The hayfield had already produced two crops this year and was now being fertilized. The reek of liquified cow manure was heady in the summer heat. Recycling in the raw. As we walked, another truck load bounded into the field. The driiver hit his switch and a thick gurry of green-brown effluent spun through the air in a hundred-foot-wide rooster tail. Gaglicious! Dungsaway! The sky was void of any birds. This old dairy farm kid savoured a fleeting comfort in the fumey funk and then smirked as I considered having that truck out on the highway on certain days for certain people. A tailgating convertible, “Bombs away Billy!” I’m sure wee Arye wanted to go roll in the liquid delight. Something to take home for mom with lots of clinging cuddles.
This morning we all went for a walk together. The dogs love the local fish hatchery which is a mix of streams, ponds, shady trails, open roads and other dogs. It is where my beloved old Jack is buried. This morning I saw two fat trout side by side in a bubbling part of the stream in the shade of an overhanging alder. It feels very good to just leave them as they are, going softly and doing no harm. It has clouded over this afternoon, we may get some rain. A respite from the hot sun is certainly welcome.
My arthritic knees were especially painful today, perhaps due to the change in weather. Once home I was forced to go lay down for a while. Oddly, those worn-out joints also start throbbing like two monster toothaches in the middle of the night. What does resting them have, and not have, to do with any relief. Once I wondered why old folks were often so cranky. Now I get it. I lay there watching the activity in a shrub outside the bedroom window. That greenery is properly named a Skimmia Japonica ((I’d see a doctor about that son!) I just call it the bush, and Jill insisits that this old logger leaves the pruning to her. It has copious tiny white flowers, which are lovely and in winter, it produces arrays of bright red berries and all the while keeps its leaves.
Bees love the flowers and I lay on the bed watching their industry. They were everywhere and despite the odd dogfight about a certain flower, it was a peaceful assault. Then I realized there was an accompaniment. We have new neighbours next door. The owner has rented her place out to a lovely couple with two young boys. They were interacting happily. There were no screams, or shouts or whining. It was bliss. Somehow the lyrical sounds of happy children underscored the aerial ballet of the bees. I realized what a rare sound it is to hear children interacting harmoniously. Usually, so often we don’t even notice, the sound of children at play incorporates screaming and wailing. There are few sounds of simple joy but rather those of the violence and altercation they’ve already learned from the world around them and…it doesn’t all come from video games. What a sad realization that genuine children’s laughter is so rare.
I lay savouring my sweet reveries and then another neighbour ran his shrieking, smoking ancient lawnmower along the fence. He’s a good neighbour too.
And yes, it rained. Ahhhh!
“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.”