Wild Plants and Wooly Bears
On Tuesday, I drove to Bangor to interview someone for a magazine. Visiting cities, even small ones, never sets well with me and I always find myself eager to conclude my business as quickly as possible in order to get out of town as soon as possible. This day was no exception.
So after finishing my interview, I decided to take the first road out of town rather than drive back through the city. This was Route 2, and it headed west. I hadn’t been on this road for a long, long time but the general direction was right and so all was fine. It wasn’t long before traffic thinned to practically nil, leaving me on a country road with all kinds of possibilities.
Before continuing, let me back up a bit in order to mention the rainbow. Just after leaving my driveway that morning and getting out on the main road, I saw a full rainbow superimposed on a leaden sky. One leg of the rainbow appeared to be anchored somewhere near my cottage. This seemed a good omen and bode well for the rest of the day.
Back to my trip home. A powerful windstorm had removed the last, clinging leaves from deciduous trees, which cast a new and different aspect to the landscape. Now, sunlight shone unimpeded on hill, wood and field. But the tone, the shade of this sunlight was decidedly different from that of summer or early fall. It was egg-yolk yellow, with not a bit of glare or harshness. And the contrast between sunlight objects and those in the shade was marked and powerful.
I sensed a feeling of peace and since there were no anxious or determined drivers close behind me, I slowed down to a few miles below the posted speed limit and enjoyed the view. It was a treat for the senses. Every old barn I saw had character, imparted partially at least by the angle and tone of the light. Golden corn stubble stood in naked fields, Canada geese appeared black, silhouetted against the sky and over everything and in everything, a sense of stillness prevailed.
Upon arriving home, I walked around the lawn and inspected my newly-tilled garden plot, picking up the soil and crumbling it in my palm to test the tilth. Just before going inside, I looked out in the sky and gave thanks. The rainbow had kept its promise.