Saturday, May 19, 2012

On, In, and Around Mondays: Date with the Coyotes


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.

Grass path

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.

Christmas tree

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?).

Fallen Tree

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.

Skunk Cabbage Field

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.

Grass Path 2

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. :)

On In Around button

This post is also shared with Laura Boggess, for...


Blogger Megan Willome said...

I like how you used the coyotes as both teal and metaphor. We see them all the time in Colorado.

2:45 PM  
Blogger Debra said...

Oh, the artist date, how I miss those. But your artist date looks like a real adventure in a mystical land. My friend Becky lives out there too, amid the coyotes. But, those coyotes in eastern NC aren’t nice guys, and even send her dog Pearl to the emergency room with teeth marks in her leg.

3:34 PM  
Blogger Jody Lee Collins said...

Laura, for the record, we bought some Facebook stock. :-) Only time will tell the outcome of that, as it did when you persevered and found your way home on the coyote trail by hanging in there.
Glad things turned out so well.

6:47 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Isn't it sad what it takes for any of us to feel sorry for Mr. Zuckerberg! Thanks for the funny and heartfelt walk you took us on! So glad your back and safe! :)

8:56 PM  
Anonymous Lyla Lindquist said...

Oh, how I wish I'd have known the full coyote story earlier...

So, what is it that you suppose may have happened if the depositor of the Christmas tree were still nearby?

9:18 PM  
Blogger Joe Pote said...

I loved both your pictures and your story. I've taken many such walks, and reading about yours makes me want to do it again, soon.

6:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oo, was I ever there with you in this! Sigh of relief on the full return! (I hear coyotes on the hills here sometimes, walk with a big stick -- and usually, company!

7:08 AM  
Blogger Lisa notes... said...

Love those little white squares on the trees because my internal GPS is typically faulty.

My husband and I hiked a trail once only to discover the sign at the END that warned us to stay off because of mountain lions. Fortunately we never saw any (but did any see us?). Glad you were safe too.

8:29 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

Thanks for sharing your journey with us. Blessings ~ jen

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Dolly@Soulstops said...

So glad you found your way back without meeting any coyotes, Laura :)

12:19 PM  
Blogger Duane Scott said...

Lovely… just lovely…

May I ask.. Are you doing the 3 morning pages?

12:43 PM  
Anonymous kingfisher said...

Thank you for a unique viewpoint in this post.

Blessings on you, Laura. May you always know that God is at work in your life and heart.

3:40 PM  
Blogger Sherrey Meyer said...

Enjoyed "walking" the trail with you via your photos and your imagery. I could hear that chipmunk making little noises which your imagination immediately turned into coyote noises. :) So glad you were able to find your way back so we can see what happens with you next week.

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Sandra Heska King said...

I saw the sign, and in my mind I turned back. But you dragged me along, and I barely breathed, expecting any moment to see a coyote on the page.

I called my husband right up and told him to get some FB stock quick. But he reminded me that because of his job we're not allowed to buy first offers (or whatever the terminology is.)

11:25 PM  
Blogger Laurie Collett said...

Thanks for the great post! His Word should be our GPS!

1:34 PM  

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