I look for inspiration to write in the spaces that surround me. On each path I happen upon, there is beauty whether rural or city, mountain or plain, in gnarled branches and steeples, and in the conversations I hear and the way I experience the people around me or that I pass by.
I wonder who has been down the trail, or in the church, or wandered where I’ve been. I think about the relationships that are woven around and through different places and the possibilities, hope, and joy, as well as the missed opportunities, sorrow and despair.
Driving, riding, tractoring or running, characters and lives play out in my mind. Sometimes it is difficult to keep up. One of my explorations of possibility and revolutions is to get some of these characters and stories traipsing through my head out onto the page in this new year:
After several minutes, Mark tied off his packhorse and bushwhacked his way off the trail, through the woods to the front of the line where Bak was. He left Jo to watch for any trouble at the back of the line. As Mark got closer to the front, he heard, “Daaamn, friggin’ logs, craaap…” He smirked, holding back laughter, as he watched this crazed horsewoman, Bak. Branches were being heaved in all directions. Mark dismounted and edged forward, ducking as a small branch was lofted in his direction, “Um, can I help?”
Bak whipped around, the Aussie hat landing on her chest, saying through clenched teeth, “No, I’ve got it.” Mark nodded, moving around to help lift a large branch off the trail. “This is some damn nature I’m getting close to today,” she grumbled. She was past tired, he thought, but it wasn’t just the branches. She looked drawn and tight, not unlike a cornered animal. He walked over to Pie, lifted the canteen off his saddle horn, and pitched it to her. She caught it deftly, unscrewed the lid, took a long swallow, wiped her mouth on her sleeve, and gratefully passed it back to him. The rest of the riders were taking a break, getting a drink, eating some melted Kudos bars, and talking among themselves. Bak and Mark sat on the recently hefted log. Mark didn’t say anything, offering her the canteen again. The water was cool and fresh; it felt good sliding down Bak’s throat.