The trucks whizzed along, eighteen wheels and sometimes cabs w/sleeping quarters. You can see the lights and the metal and the logos and the rest. What a force they are. We slip into the off-way, and down to where the dog walkers park. There aren’t too many vehicles then, and its middle morning. The sky is not bright and clear on one hand, which is fine, but it also lacks ominous foreboding clouds and textures on the other. It’s just covered in a gray. It’s not pollution, not there. It’s just that the clouds have dispersed themselves out everywhere, shapes that have gotten too large and lost all contour or hold, - and there is nothing but gray and gray and gray. Give me the blue, or give me the black. Sometimes the gray is hard. Nevertheless, we continue on.
It would be easy to lie, but lie I won’t. Whatever coyotes and deer were there, well they have migrated for the time being to somewhere else. I went deep, - the long way. Remember, - I am going the odd way, - towards the left, to begin with. The ones that even go there take the first path in. Some, more adventurous souls, well they go to the second. I took the third. It was as if the spirit said the way was safe. And it was, - and it was almost too safe. It’s where the two coyotes came and watched us before. But there is nothing there now. If you go past the abandoned car, you are quite far. The ground looks stable but it is not. Someone was there, and left a birch branch walking stick. I picked it up and used it, - feeling the ground. It was wet under the leaves, and sunk quickly, almost like quicksand in a movie. We continued on.
Soon we were at the bottom of the valley. Often I stopped and stood in utmost silence. There is silence that we think is silence but that is only relative silence. There are still sounds. This was actual silence and it was weird. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. The trees covered the sky then, and I looked at the impossibly large root system of one that had fallen over a long time ago, laying on its side like a monster or like a soldier or like something, some kind of sight as it were. We went upwards, and the walking was slow. The leaves, mostly yellow, made of themselves a carpet on the forest floor. The spirit had said to look up, before, and so I did, - and when I did I saw a small fairy flying but perhaps it was not a fairy but a flying ant or some other type of insect. The grapes, the berries, the raspberries, the buttercups and the various wildflowers, - even those that survived during the Indian summer, - had all disappeared. Just trees and trees and trees. We continued on the top of the valley and up to where I know the deer cross sometimes.
Soon enough we were out in the open fields. No counterpoint or juxtaposition or foil. No ‘other,’ really, but that was okay. We took it for what it was, and encountered it all on its own terms. The dogs ran back and forth, played, jumped, turned ‘round and ‘round, sniffed, seemed all in all to be content and even happy. At least, I thought, we did not run into any others and have to worry about leashes or talk or such. But the sky, - opaque, no sky at all really, - does not make for inspiration one way or the other. That is okay. We are in it for a ‘slow penny not a fast buck as it were. We are die hards. We go rain or shine or snow or whatever wants to present itself.
On the way back, there was more of the same. Many wild mushrooms announced themselves on logs and trees. The sand and the pebbles, the leaves, shrubs, - the same pathways, some plain and open, others a bit more labyrinthine and darkened, - presented themselves. We stuck close to the earth, our noses to the earth, our faith in the earth, our spirit to the earth. The earth is not bad, and besides, as aforementioned, the sky was not to really be found. Soon enough, with so very many steps behind, - as we began the way out of the valley and the open spaces and the forest too, the sounds of the trucks could be heard again. Sounds that stretched out from machinery and searched for a place to make and echo or resonate, but instead seemed to just keep on going and going and going across the world like that ubiquitous cloud cover itself.