Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The sad days of July

As I sit here, listening to the first throes of a thunderstorm, and watch the rolling clouds over head, the cries of the  Sand hill cranes woeful calls match the mood of this homesteader. Its been a raw month, the end of June and the beginning of July.  The heat has been excessive, and the rain a plenty...draining the mind of logical thought, and the senses become dull.... reality blurred. News spread quickly that day.... as down the road a bit, there was a horrible accident killing three area people, and injuring three more.  A mother and her son, plus a young girl in the other car took their eternal flight.  The driver of the other car was a visitor from Australia,.... we may never know what happened....but the sight of the Mayo clinic helicopter flying very low over our field, left an empty feeling in the pit of my stomach... churning... as I knew there must have been a severe accident somewhere, and it was...just 1/2 mile down the road. The  rare, angry sounds of  ambulances wailing in all directions sent shivers down the spine... they came from the three small towns around, along with country sheriff's squads hoping not to find what came across on the radios.  One more helicopter slices the sky, and then silence.  Later the late evening news told the grim tale that cemented it firmly in my mind. Now a wreath marks the spot so all will slow down at the corner of death.

Little did I know that there would be more sorrowful news in the future, with a text message early Tuesday morning, stating that my Mother in Law,( from a previous marriage had died).....she was in her late 80's and in poor health, but somehow I thought she would make another summer. She lived in the town a few miles down the road, and tho I rarely made it down to see her, I made a point to call her at least once a week.....and we would kibitz on what kind of summer it would be and how much rain, or snow we would get. Our birthdays were 2 days apart in the same month and we would congratulate each other for making it another year.  Life becomes so fragile, when we are made to stop and listen to the tears. To make things even more delicate, she donated her body to Science, therefore there will be no funeral, no closure to celebrate her life here in the heartland.  It is a new reality to life that I must sift thru and set right in my mind.

Turning to a softer side of life, on the way to town a few weeks back, we saw a huddled dark spot on the side of the road......turtle, duck?...we didn't stop to find out, as we needed to take our weekly 10 dozen eggs to the food pantry, before it opened, and as usual we were late.   On the way back that dark spot was still there so we stopped to investigate, as curiosity took over the best of us.   Tim bent over and picked up this little black spot, and it quickly picked and pecked at him as he returned to the car.   Feisty,  soft black down became a ball of jostling energy, as Tim cradled it in his big hands......It was a baby Loon,  perched on the side of a busy country road, to fend for its own..on a busy day.  We surmised that he had somehow been left behind by his parents, a long way from the water, well for him anyway....and had gotten lost and finally grew tired and just stopped on the side of the road.  Now the dilemma was what to do with him...since he is a protected species, and we didn't have a pond to put him in.  Finally , with much heavy thought , we took him down to the neighbors, whose land bordered the lake he must have come from, and made him  promise to take the little one to the lake shore.  It was fine with Jeff, as he said he knew that there were a couple of pairs of loons on the lake, and he would walk down thru the woods and set him in a safe place, where hopefully the furried friends would not see him, and he would have a chance to get back in the water.  We had a severe thunderstorm and rain that night, so I don't know what became of the little one, but in my imagination,  he lost his down and grew feathers and is echoing the calls of his parents, on the lake where I know he came from.  No closure here either, except the imagination of the  mind taking over the sensible, practical , logical ways of this homesteader. The ways of the land are cruel, and  hard sometimes, and ones... I have not managed to overcome in the seven years here in the woods, yet everything seems to balance out somehow, sometimes in a few hours, or days...making life more masterful, and powerful then before. Understanding may never become a project fulfilled, but one that will keep my imagination rolling on like the hills never ending, never stopping.
Balance here on the homestead, means getting away for a couple of days.  We traveled for a family gathering along the boundaries of Wisconsin and Michigan. Seventy was a warm friendly highway, gently curving into the Chequamegon National Forest, where the landscape begins to take on new direction.  The swamps are filled with sentinels of the peaked, pointed spirals of pine trees,  watching over the waving tall grass, hiding the forest creatures that are going about their various duties. The highway was dressed for the holiday, wearing miles of yellow BirdsFoot trefoil flowers, with fringes of black eyed Susan's, and white daisies gathered in ruffles along the wood lines. She is proud, beautiful in the early morning dew, quiet, empty, with the sun rays fondly kissing the tips of the trees with silent adoration.  By the time we reach Minoqua, the traffic has picked up, and we become aware of the holiday celebration enthusiasts, with bicyclists on the path, ATVS, roaring down the side roads, and runners on a jaunt to nowhere.  For a brief two days, with three dogs in tow, we enjoyed walking barefoot on the piney crusted ground, the towering majestic pines, and the laughing of family members playing games on the lawn. We were entertained that evening by my son-law's, Blues band, and people dancing on the wooden floors at Goouches bar and restaurant in Boulder Junction.  Brian plays the guitar and sings the songs with an abandonment only a dedicated, artist can , making the night more precious in memories. We drove back the next day, in the rain, ready to get back into the harness of everyday work here on the homestead, renewed, looking forward to the mondain energies of everyday life.

So maybe there is not to be closures  or endings, we must flow with the streams, rushing down the mountain into a continual force of energy, dancing like the raindrops into new realms of dreams, never to be forgotten.

1 comment:

  1. So sorry to hear about Rose, but happy you were able to talk with her weekly. I didn't know her well but always liked her. And as usual, I enjoyed reading your blog...and am sending positive thoughts to the little loon that he found his way.