This post is in response to Robin of breezes at dawn. Check out her blog. She writes about her world along the Eastern Shore and her Wabi-Sabi Ranch, and her blog also includes amazingly beautiful photos.
For the past few years we’ve visited the Valley Green Inn during the summer for my mom’s birthday. My husband and I decided to have lunch there this week on a beautiful autumn day, and then take a long walk down Forbidden Drive, along the Wissahickon Creek.
The bridge was closed,
So we hiked down from the upper lot,
Taking the “scenic route” to the restaurant
Because I have no sense of direction.
Something you should know about me.
Hmmm. . .is this the right way?
But it didn’t matter,
We were not in a hurry at all.
We were taking the day off.
We sat by the window
In that dining room
That always smells of wood smoke
From the fireplace at the end.
Lunch was delicious,
A portabella mushroom sandwich for me
With homemade sweet potato chips,
And an open-face Reuben for him
With house cut French fries
Two cups of coffee each,
And then we were set to go.
I had brought a coat
Thinking it might be chilly,
But the weather was beautiful
And perfect for walking.
I wandered down to the water.
Sun and shadows played a chasing game there.
We strolled down the path.
The air smelled fresh and woody—
Not the dry crispness of winter
And not the swampy scent of summer either,
Something in between.
The day was bright and clear.
A chipmunk scampered away
Before I could get a picture.
He chirped loudly at us from
Beneath his leafy cover.
Amidst the roots.
We saw an older man walking his dog,
They looked like long-time companions,
Both a little gray and grizzled,
But still enjoying their time together.
A bare-chested man in red shorts ran determinedly
From the opposite direction.
An impressively fit mother
Jogged while pushing her babies
In one of those special strollers
Made for runners with children,
Exercise and childcare combined.
Another woman ambled down the path
While talking on her phone.
Couples meandered with their dogs.
There were a few bikers, too,
But no horses today,
And a childhood memory
Stirred in my mind—
Walking in the woods
With my grandfather and little sister.
He pulled us to the side of a path
As riders on horseback
Come thundering by.
It was thrilling
And a bit scary.
Like ghosts from the past,
And then I remember my brother
Telling me about the Headless Horseman,
A Revolutionary Era soldier
Who supposedly roamed the woods.
But all is peaceful here today,
The ghosts are only in my mind.
We continued our wandering.
We hiked down stone steps
To the water.
I noticed a tree that
Looked like a skeleton to me.
We saw many trees that had fallen
Or stood at an angle.
What tales those trees could tell!
Sunlight highlighted a pop of red
Against the gold and still-green branches
And reflected in the water below.
“It’s so beautiful,”
I said to my husband.
“Thank you for this day.”
And on the way home in the car
Well, actually to the movies
Because we didn’t want the day
We listened to Fresh Air,
Terry Gross interviewing
Two bird experts.
There’s a type of bird that can
Mimic almost any sound.
What if there was a bird
There in the woods
Who repeated my words?
What if he flew all over the earth
“It’s so beautiful. Thank you for this day.”
Thoughts on walking along Forbidden Drive