A Country Mile
Okay, admittedly, that last post was pretty depressing. Yikes...sorry.
Today, however, spontaneity proved to be a most helpful spirit-lifting exercise, as it so often does. In fact, actually leaving the house usually helps.
As part of my whole "getting back on the grid" process, I drove down to the Department of Social Services to file for Medicaid. No job = no health insurance = kinda scary. Especially with these two engorged, increasingly uncomfortable lymph nodes that I'm currently ignoring. I was, however, dreading the process. Turns out, when I arrived at the building, there were only three people in line ahead of me (one of whom was very impressively changing her baby's dirty diaper as she stood there waiting). Expecting impossible instructions, the worker instead simply handed me a form to fill out and mail back in the provided pre-paid envelope. Great!
Off to Dunkin Donuts to redeem my coupon for a free birthday beverage, and decided to take the scenic lake route home. No reason to rush home, and it was such a clear, sunny, big blue sky day. I pull over to let the cars behind me pass, 'cause today I'm sightseeing. I really enjoy the slow, winding ride home, and make a mental note to take any first time guests on this drive. Now I'm really inspired to keep driving, what with my medium caramel iced latte, new tunes streaming through my iPhone, windows down and all. I drive straight past the turn to my house, deciding to take the longer way just a bit more. Then I pass the next turn, but keep driving still. The little yellow gas light pops up, as if to say, "Egh em... what exactly do you think you're doing?" But I ignore that, too.
I cruise downhill, fully planning on turning left onto the last option home, but, no! I'll explore this one road just ahead on the right, first. I've driven past it hundreds of times, but never taken it. Crossing a narrow bridge, I cruise along this weathered country road, heavily shaded beneath regal oak trees until the view opens up to expanses of pastures and golden corn fields. I pass one quintessential New England red barn after the next, set behind rickety, unassuming wooden-fenced properties with names like "Thistleberry Acres" and "Sweetmeadow Farm". How have I never taken this road? I think to myself. It's when I pass an American flag waving atop a narrow, stripped tree trunk in the middle of a field that I decide I must stop and take a photo.
I pull over, put the flashers on, and cross the street to capture my photo opp. The scene is even more impressive on foot. Now, standing alone on this country road, I can hear the leaves rustling, still green but drying out, and the acorns sporadically falling onto the pavement (and my car). Behind me, gently upward-sloping fields meet a brilliant Indian summer sky. In front of me, 180º view of farms, woods, and rolling hills, each layer farther toward the horizon a lighter shade of blue-green. I start walking. There's a cool steady breeze, but I'm comfortable in a short-sleeve shirt and holding a cold beverage. I keep walking. A hawk weaves graceful figure eights above the tree line. A big green John Deere tractor rolls by.
My car's out of sight now, windows down, keys in the ignition, and I worry about that for a second. Nah, there's nothing to steal, anyway... except, of course, the car itself.
But no cars even pass me by. Five wild turkeys, however, cluck their way along the edge of a field. I call my sister to share my delight in stumbling upon this sheer bucolic dream scene, and just as she picks up, as if on a director's cue, three magnificent horses gallop into my view from stage left. I'm pretty sure I squealed.
During this walk, my mind did drift back to my boardwalk strolls. In this scene, though, fresh-cut grass is in the air instead of salt water, oak trees replace palms, and rolling foothills replace the Caribbean Sea, but it's breathtaking nonetheless and just as peaceful. And I'm grateful.
It's not so bad.