Friday, May 1, 2009

P4E.106 A Fond Memory Foretells the Future(?)

I'm sitting on a small grassy slope next to a quarter-mile oval dirt track. The grassy infield is guarded by a worn, wood-rail fence. The moist, earthy smell of the dirt track mixes with the grass and is pleasant and somehow comforts me. The sky is clear and crystal blue this early morning, with just the tiniest bit of haze. The sun is warm, but the air is cool. Beyond the track, spectacular green hills spread away to the left and right as far as my eye can see.

Above the backround twittering of countless birds, the meadowlarks sing their melodies to each other from the wooden posts of the horse paddocks behind me. I hear the beating wings of a crow as he flies by and I have to shield my eyes from the piercing early sun rays to look up to see him. His "caw-caws" fill the air. A few big ants are crawling around the base of the giant eucalyptus tree on my right. I breathe deep and exhale slowly.

A rhythmic thudding sound comes from my left, and as I look up, my son, Ben, trots by me on his grey Percheron-thoroughbred horse, Brice. He grins. He's doing what's called a "posting trot," where he comes out of the saddle and puts his weight on his feet in the stirrups and then sits back in the saddle in rhythm with his horse's trot. The metronome of Brice's hoof beats and Ben's posting trot have a calming effect on my spirit.

As Ben and Brice round the far turn of the track, a Mexican man pulls up in a dingy-brown pick-up truck on the dirt road behind me. "Tamales, senor?" I say "no, thank you" but as soon as he drives away, I wish I'd said "yes." No matter. I lay back on the grass, put my hands behind my head and close my eyes. The sun illuminates the red on the inside of my eyelids and I feel the warmth of it on my face. I hear Ben and Brice trot by again. A horse whinnies from the barn nearby.

I open my eyes and see a hawk gliding through the blue, high, high above me.
He screeches.
It's a good morning.
Is Heaven going to be any better than this?

This post was linked on 10.25.10 to
Seedlings in Stone: On in and Around Mondays


  1. This is marvelous. Yes, a terrific sense of place! :)

    My daughter just started horse-back riding, so I know what posting is. And yesterday, as we walked through a nearby park, two riders passed us trotting, and the sound... how I loved the sound. As you say.

  2. In fact, I liked this so much I just tweeted it :)

  3. Definitely looks, sounds, and smells like heaven!

  4. LL: uh-ohhh. I love that your daughter has started riding, but get ready to find out what "horse-poor" means!

    Sandra: mmmmm hmmmm!

  5. This is so beautiful, Kim. I was right there with you. A definite sense of place!

  6. Kim. You had me at "caw-caw" Great piece!

  7. Laura: What's so awesome is I get to re-live a scene like this about once a week in one way or another. And as the seasons change so does the place. What a blessing.

    David: Isn't that an amazing sound they make? What's wonderful is that it's so quiet that you CAN hear their wings beat through the air.

  8. I love the part where you regret not buying the tamales...and then the sun illuminating the inside of your eyelids. What a great moment--I know exactly what you're talking about, Kim, how the red glows. With this piece--so multi-sensory and rhythmic--I, too, feel the warmth on my face.

  9. Ann: It seems I always regret not buying the tamales! I've always wondered if other people see the same kind of red image when they close their eyes to the sun. It seems to be a shared experience. I wrote about it again in P4E.187 The Poor Boys.

  10. By the way, the image is an iphoto edited cell phone picture that I took on the very day I wrote about.

  11. I almost asked if that was your own photo--it's dreamy effect complements your dreamy writing. I love it!