Sunday, August 25, 2013
This golden day
A golden day. I ran the ridge north to Allagash, up hills and down. A high blue dome of sky above and a crisp tinge in the air. The distant hills are sheathed in deep emerald of spruces and firs and the fields below a patchwork of green potatoes and winter wheat, the dun of mowed timothy and gold of barley and oats. Here and there was a swath of the burnt red of ripening buckwheat. Farm ponds and small lakes glittered in the bright sun, and makeshift farm stands anchored the edges of the road, card tables and plywooded sawhorses piled with cucumbers and summer squash, carmine tomatoes, and potatoes – red, blue, and white. In the tiny towns, husbands climbed ladders, painting the trim, nailing down loose shingles while wives bent over lush gardens, gathering the provender for this winter’s meals. Along the Saint John, a few late season fishermen cast shimmering lines into the flowing water, and at the sporting camps, woodpiles had blossomed beside each cabin.
The world stands still here, beyond the reach of those things that pull us to busyness. The traffic thins, the pulse slows, and shoulders relax. The road swoops and dips through pressing forest and opens to riverside marsh. Shrubs are jeweled with crimson berries and in the gravel beside the pavement there are tracks from the morning’s early moose. Overhead, a single eagle pirouettes and arabesques against a thin cloud, then wings onward. On a bluff above a broad sweep of river, a canoe painted white brims scarlet with geraniums planted in it.
There are blessings in such simplicity.
(Photo by The Nature Conservancy)