Saturday, March 17, 2012

Chasing Turkeys--Literal and Metaphorical

Turkeys on the road
Yesterday was one of those days that just seemed to take on a life of its own.

Originally, I had planned to join my cousin for a leisurely lunch--something we'd been trying to do absolutely forever.  Then, a meeting in town (town is half-the-county away) popped up.  Okay, schedule that before lunch.  Then, another meeting popped up which, thankfully, was scheduled before the other meeting.  So, my leisurely lunch now followed two meetings.  Whew.

And, just because it made sense, I volunteered to make three deliveries in my end of the county.  I'm not sure when I thought I'd do that.

Both meetings ended up running back-to-back and concluding with just enough time to make one delivery and join my cousin 15 minutes late.  No worries.

What a great time we had!  She is so very creative, and I'm so not.  Well, she's artistic and I'm not.  We discussed gardens, family, pets, things we still want to do.  And, come to find out, her day had also taken on a life of its own and she had to go into the city (which is at the other end of the next county).  We parted and I set out to make my deliveries.
Geographical note:  I live in the country.  We're near a big city, but we're really in the country.  It's ten miles to the nearest asphalt highway.  Our roads are paved, but with a mixture of crushed granite and asphalt.  There are still gravel roads, if I choose to take them.
Back to the story.  I set out to make my deliveries, which are about 20 miles from my house, and I had choices, all of which took the same amount of time to travel:

  • I could choose to take the gravel road to the highway.  It goes through fields of sedge grass stubbornly surviving in red clay,

  • I could choose to take the bridge road to the highway which takes me through a scenic river watershed past a triple beaver pond,

  • Or, I could choose to take the "bottom" road, which winds through wetlands and, due to water levels from recent rains, may not be passable.

Following the storm
Despite the fact that I was sort of racing the clock to make the deliveries, I chose the bottom road.

Ahead of me, the sky was leaden with the trailing end of the squall line that passed through during lunch.  I stopped briefly and took a few pictures of the sky.

Hardwood wetlands
Once in the river bottoms, motion caught my eye and I stopped, seeing just a blur of a rabbit or maybe a small beaver--there was a tree nearby that had been cut down by the busy creatures.  Although the animal was now hidden, the view across the hardwood wetlands was breathtaking and I took a few more pictures.

Up ahead, the river had covered just the edge of the road by about a foot.  I still had room to pass after I took a few more pictures.

Water creeping over the road
Finally, I turned onto the main road, still not asphalt though.  As I came round a bend, eight wild turkeys were just standing in the road.  Now, wild turkeys are not uncommon around here, but seeing eight at one time is.  I immediately slowed to a crawl.  They seemed in no hurry, and I still had a little time to spare, so I crawled along behind them for about a half-mile.  Finally, I felt time pressing so I sped up a little.  The turkeys hesitated for just a moment, as if to take their leave, before they took wing in a blur and they were gone.

But they're not forgotten.

They were a gift, a sign.  During my hour-long-each-way commute to my career in the city, which finances my dream, I sometimes wonder if I've chosen poorly, if I've been foolish to pursue my dream house on my dream farm in a nightmare economy.

But then I encounter turkeys, literal or metaphoric, and I realize that the backroads--Frost called them the roads "less traveled by"--and my dream are the places on which I will take wing, with barely a look back.

Turkeys take wing
So, look for me on the backroads, and watch me fly!

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