Getting ahead of myself, though, losing the immediacy. Back to the 24th. Rain in the forecast, big grey clouds in a low sky. Felt a few sprinkles, kept going anyway (something I've come to learn, as in actually finally believe and act upon, is "so what if it's raining.")(I guess a few months in a temperate rainforest will teach you that life get's pretty dull if all you do is sit inside and stay warm.)
Maybe it was the light? Or just my mind, more focused, but I saw the mailbox again, there standing dark at the top of a hill. How could I not have noticed this the dozen other times I'd walked the path?
(I opened it up this time, just to confirm that yes, in fact, it houses interpretive brochures. Somehow that's far more disappointing than real mail, or even nothing. My imagination could have done more with an empty mailbox than one full of tidy lists of numbers and names.)
Anyway, onward. I'd thought the day had been sponsored by turkeys -- they were everywhere, glarbeling at me from out in the grass, -- but soon ran into a new curiousity: cattle? New rotation in the grazing patterns established by scientists studying the impact of ungulate herbivory (i.e. hungry cows).
It was a little surreal. They'd been mooing merrily away until I approached, then they must have caught whiff of my leather boots or chocolate-filled pack because they stopped. Stopped mooing, stopped eating, just stood there. Cows in a field. Silent. Staring.
On, around, the longest loop for the first time since this summer, pausing for this tree. Although the colors were what struck me -- the sun barely happened to peek out just as I was walking by, illuminating a few tattered leaves, gold gold gold against the dark sky -- I stuck with the black-and-white scheme. Again, let the imagination fill in the hues, and, along with them, the rustles of grass, the chill of the air, the beauty, the delight. (Konza!)