The sign says coyotes live here. But I walk in anyway, thinking I owe Lyla an Artist’s Date.
Gradually, the sounds of the road are replaced with idyllic buzzings, rustlings, the sound of water babbling under an abandoned stone foundation. I hear a rattling and think “coyote,” but it’s just a chipmunk.
Woods grow thicker and light grows thinner and the trail becomes a narrow snake.
“Maybe I should turn back,” I consider, but I’m trusting the trail to loop, like trails always do.
In an early Facebook banter today, somebody mentioned the ancient relic called a map.
I thought that was funny until now, when I’ve neglected to consult the map at the trailhead, and I don’t appear to be going in circles, which for once I am wishing to do.
Around a steep curve, at the base of an enormous tree is a bronzed tree left from Christmas; I can tell by its perfect shape and the cut of the trunk that it was a holiday tree. Who deposits their old Christmas tree in the woods? I am mildly nervous about meeting the perpetrator and maybe the coyotes too.
Four chipmunks later, the trail is coming round to civilization. I hasten my step. My return is at hand. But when I get to the base of the path, I find that this trip has been a line, not a loop. I’ve gone up and now down a small mountain, come to a road, and it happens to be a road where my car isn’t parked.
This Artist’s Date is turning into an afternoon. Not quite what I’d planned. But somewhere near a sunny glen, I begin to think maybe I will come back unscathed and my mind turns to compassionate feelings for Mark Zuckerberg.
For some reason I think he’s made a mistake about Instagram or maybe just a mistake in buying it before he’d discovered the fallout from the new Facebook design. I believe there is fallout. Ads are no longer as visible, and I heard today that GM pulled theirs. So that would be a bad thing for Zuckerberg, and I’m suddenly feeling sorry for him, especially after he was so nice and wore the hoodie too.
My knee is hurting a little and I start to think Mark has nothing to worry about compared to me. What if I can’t make it back? What if I have to stay in here forever, fearing the coyotes (or have to resort to turning my cell phone on and request a woodland rescue?).
I keep retracing my steps. The mountain, the fallen trees, the sharp turns, the stone ruins. I think how perfectly kind it is that someone painted little white squares on the trees, so I can be assured that I’ll need no rescue, at least not from a failure of my internal GPS system.
More fallen trees, moss, a little stream—until, at last, I am back to the grassy path where I began.
Here is Skunk Cabbage Field. There are the lavender flowers and the black pond. Zuckerberg and I will meet later, in a way, when I post on Facebook, about my risky day. Maybe he had a risky day too. Or a risky year. I will comfort him with consolations that he hasn’t fallen prey, yet, to the coyotes.*
*I wrote this post on Thursday, before the Facebook IPO flopped.
On, In and Around Mondays
(which partly means you can post any day and still add a link) is an invitation to write from where you are. Tell us what is on, in, around (over, under, near, by...) you. Feel free to write any which way... compose a tight poem or just ramble for a few paragraphs. But we should feel a sense of place. Would you like to try? Write something 'in place' and add your link below.
If you could kindly link back here when you post, it will create a central meeting place. :)
This post is also shared with Laura Boggess, for...