Posts Tagged ‘Minnesota’

A North-woods Walk

October 1, 2015

—∞—

If only words could let me share
But what can they do?
Re-imagining a morning walk
On an hilly dirt road
Through the woods
Past driveways leading down to the lake
To hidden cabins

Early morning rising sun
Leaves bursting with color
Light flirting with shadows among the trees
Aspens shimmering in an unnoticed breeze
It was very cool, if not cold
Hands taking turns
Between pocket and hiking stick

A deer’s follow-me white flag
Bounding, bounding, bounding … gone
At the bottom of a hill
A pair of ducks exploding from a small pond
Little flocks of tiny birds
Gathering something for breakfast
Amidst the weeds and lingering wildflowers

Unnoticed before
The breeze has picked up
And plays with the holes in my walking stick
A horrible flute
Producing a tone that is simply beautiful
Appearing then vanishing
With the rhythm of my gait

An hour later
Back at the cabin
Warm
Invigorated
Sitting by the window
Steaming cup of coffee
Sparking lake beyond the sheltering glass

© 2015 Thomas W. Cummins

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“It’s a deal!”

February 1, 2011

First the freezing rain, then the freezing drizzle, and soon the snow accompanied by high winds will arrive. Anywhere from 7 to 20 inches are expected, a major storm for this part of the country.

My first trek to the driveway was to push around a few inches of ice crystals. The consistency was that of sugar. Better to keep up with it from time to time rather than wait for the storm to pass.

When I came in for a break and rest, I set the oven timer for two hours, an appropriate recovery interval before I would return for more shoveling.

A moment later there was a knock on the front door. “Would you like me to keep your driveway clean throughout the storm?” There, with smiling face, stood our neighbor’s son.

“What compensation are you looking for?” I asked.

“I will return three times for a total of 25 dollars.”

“It’s a deal!”

His family has, perhaps, the only snow blower in the immediate neighborhood. This is contrasted with the area we grew up in, Minnesota, where one is more than likely to be the only one without a snow blower in any given neighborhood.

The work is being supervised by is father, and I envision a budding business being set up for several winters coming.

But I still think I’ll purchase a snow blower. We’ll see.


In the meantime, I imagine there is an offender looking at the snow through his narrow window. He can’t see far, just as far as the adjacent wing in his housing unit.

I wonder what he is thinking as the snow swirls among the buildings. This coming weekend could be his last as he approaches his execution date on February 9.

And for the rest of us, a snow storm is coming.