These are not my Pineapples

Yesterday I awoke at 6, which typically happens to me when sleeping somewhere away from home. This time sleep was stolen from me thru the machinations of my parents refrigerator. Seeing me from the kitchen, this vile beast kept up an incessant stream of violent and aggressive humming all through the night. So when I awoke and found that the rest of the household had escaped this plague, this modern scourge - and was still deep in slumber, blissfully unaware of their rouge household appliance, I went for a walk. I grew up in this house, delivered papers on these streets, delivered papers early in the morning and when the paper became an evening paper, late at night. I know all the houses, all the plants and trees, and all the abandoned cars. I grew up walking past them all every day, lost in the daydreams that all paperboys must escape to. Odd what changes and what stays the same after 13 years. Some house are still as ugly, some are gone. Lawns eaten by driveways, or decks. Houses bought and sold. I was heading to the bog behind my house. Every kid needs a bog, or wood, or some large place behind their house growing up. This bog was part of a huge wooded network that went from behind my house back and back and back. The freeway a couple of miles off marked its outer boundary. There were paintball gun forts and bunkers, a bike track, streams, hidden little pockets in the woods that you would have to crawl under 45 feet of black berry bushes to find. There was rusty old cars, a barn that was rotting away, and there was the bog. The bog was - no is - a quagmire, a body of water that no sane person has swan, or fished or boated in, and I've tried to canoe in it before - but that is a whole different story - but the bog could be crossed - it could be crossed if you tried the remains of the train tracks that once spanned it. The train tracks were built on top of the locks that controlled the flooding of the bog and ran small cars filled with cranberries. all that remained when I started exploring - was the footing of the foundation. Often these were under water so crossing the bog - while possible was a risky business at times.

Not so any more.

There is a bridge there now, and groomed paths, and benches. A large sign and baggies for dog poo. Stairs and fences, wood chips, graffiti. The streams have silted up and left their beds. Developments have built in the land near the freeway and the woods have shrunk. The bike paths and the paint ball forts are gone. The woods I know, I knew rather are gone.

But by making paths and installing benches, in some respects my woods were preserved. The trails were used and stuck to - as soon as I remembered that there was a time when muddy pants and cold wet shoes did not bother me, as soon as I remembered washing machines and hot coffee, as soon as I remembered the smell of skunk cabbage and sight of banana slugs I was off the trail and exploring. It is still a bog so it is muddy, and moist. Moss and ferns everywhere. Muck pored into my shoes and around my toes. Cold - smelly - slurping gurgling goop. Sticker bushes, fallen logs, streams were all crawled over, and under, and into. It was still early morning light, that grey, golden hour, where the long slanting rays of the sun do special things to the world. Time and time again I wished I had brought my tripod. Mushrooms and slugs and wet.

Sylvancreature - Creature of the woods. In years past I have forgotten how much I love the woods. There was a time growing up (3rd thru 5th grade) when I all I wanted to do, wanted to be was a game warden, to be out deep in the woods. Funny how an hour and a half romp in a smelly mud puddle, wiping the sleep out of your eyes, can be so reviving. And it was not really the mud, the ferns, or the moss that was uplifting - and uplifting is not even the right word. What really made that morning was - what really made that morning the morning that it was, was a book - that started a train of thought that is still running, even now, a day and a half later.

I woke up being bored - I started pulling books off the shelf in the living room. I pulled out an old copy of the Pineapple Story. Funny how the Lord works - telling you things right when you need to hear them. I read the story at first just looking at the pictures - kind of smiling at it's simple message - then in the way His truth always does, in His the simple truth, I was reminded that there where things in my life that I was hanging onto, hanging onto in the wrong ways.

My life is His. His to direct, I trust Him.

This is why I went and took pictures, this is why I had to get out of house and get away, get away and talk, and think, and listen. This is why the morning was so good. Not the woods, not the light, not the quite. But the talk.

Vantage and the Third Pass Crossing

I drove over the pass three times yesterday - its a long story - so don't ask. I passed thru Vantage around 12:30 and the place was deserted. Filled up the tank - had Moby playing rather loudly and after spending 10 minutes waking up - holding my own little rave at the gas station - in my youthful exuberance I almost drove off with the gas line! Of course I always stick the gas cap on top of the hose when filling the tank so when I drove off and then braked hard it went flying. It took several minutes to find that blasted cap - laughing hysterically does not aid in the searching for black caps in the dark on asphalt. But in the end I found it and was able to get back on the road - too much fun!

1 comment:

  1. Quite introspective their Neil.
    And yet you end it Rolling on the Floor...lol
    What are you up to these days?
    What are you doing for Thanksgiving?
    Hey lets catch up with each other!