First Walk

By Lisa Hadden

April 27, 2015

First Walk

It is my first walk in the woods, four months after the accident. I insisted. Cautiously hiking the old deer run behind our house, my husband stops, and holds me in a bear hug; chest to chest, heart to heart. This is his way of expressing his concern for me on this blustery, wintry January evening in Michigan. We are deep in the woods standing at the top of a ridge, surrounded by leafless, lifeless trees, as the last dull light fades into charcoal gray. Bracing for the momentous roar of the next gust of wind, it whips and ruffles the tops of the pines below, then blasts up the ridge in waves of long, slow moans at forty miles an hour. In the distance I hear my copper Kokopelli wind chime banging by the front door doing fierce battle with itself, and the faint echo of a coyote’s yip rolls across the orchard. Bare tree limbs and boughs around us move and play as bow to strings, sawing a song in their dry bark. As the wind settles, cold air rests heavy and molten on our shoulders and arms. Stepping gingerly back up the trail toward the house lights, we kick through the dried leaves and light snow, to discover a patch of still fragrant, breathing earth. The warming scent of cedar moss, decaying leaves and damp soil wafts upward, and for a moment encircles us in its mercy.

 

Photo "Stand of trees in the fog 1" provided by waferboard, via Flickr.com creative commons license.

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