Yesterday I arrived at the tennis center where I play once a week or so. There is an older guy that works there, regularly grumpy, spends a lot of time watching old westerns on the TV in the lounge area. I was feeling friendly, so I went beyond "good morning Hank" (fake name) and asked "How are you today?"
Turns out it was his birthday. His 75th. Not only that, I got a lengthy history of the longevity of his family members - those that died early and those that lived to 100, and his hope that he'll be a member of the latter category. And a look at his calves, plagued by neuropathy, that will be getting braces soon to give him more stability.
Wow! He lit up like I've never seen before. You never know what new things lie beneath something you think you already know.
This morning I planned a quick walk around the back, as usual. Then I saw this standoff between Clara and four deer. For a full minute Clara stood there, stock still, staring at the four of them, equally statue-like. Finally one deer made a move into the trees, the others followed, and Clara ran at them. She is clearly not programmed as a vicious hunter.
When I got near that back corner where they'd been, I heard crackling in the woods and decided to check it out - maybe the deer are still around.
Never found any deer, and I eventually realized that all the crackling was acorns dropping all over the forest, from high up in the oak trees. But I did get down to Reeds Brook where it empties into the Penobscot River, and found it to be near lowest tide. I rarely make the scramble down that steep bank, and wonder why not when I get there.
The mud flats are deceiving. It looks as though you could walk right on top of them, but it is deep, thick mud. I remembered the first time N and A discovered them 8 years ago on an exploratory walk in their new home. Here was the result of that outing:
But it is beautiful. The only sunrise evidence in the sky from down there was in the smoke from the stack across the river, whose beauty was at its peak today.
The trees on this eroding bank remind me of Hank's relatives, some hanging on, some lost the battle.
Rope swing at rest - summer is over. (It is obviously a high tide rope swing!)
And another summer activity abandoned in the mud flat...
Sunrise in thick woods is what you see straight up, or filtered through branches if you can.
If you keep showing up with your receptors open, you never know when you'll find that something old is new again.