Off The Beaten Path: This Makes My Heart Sing
They say you can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl. This saying pretty much sums up my personality. Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy an occasional foray into the city. I like to see plays and sporting events and I enjoy dining at restaurants. I love to ride the incline in Pittsburgh to the top of Mt. Washington and viewing the city at night when she is ablaze with lights.
I like to travel and visit new places but I get homesick within a matter of days. I don’t like feeling crowded amidst all of the jostling crowds of people. I hate the traffic – the beeping of car horns and multiple lane highways filled with rude and aggressive drivers.
I prefer country roads and wide open spaces. Give me rolling fields of wheat and corn over urban sprawl any day. I want to look up at the sky at night and see thousands of twinkling stars, not skyscrapers. I want to be able to take walks in the woods and smell the wildflowers and pine trees.
I want to watch horses gallop in pastures and cows mosey their way back to the barn. I want to see farmers plowing their fields and ducks swimming in ponds.
When I am out on my daily walks with my beagle Gunny and we spy a family of deer in the field, sometimes coming within mere feet of them, I am overcome with such a wonderful feeling. It sounds corny – but my heart literally sings with joy. I watch the squirrels and chipmunks scamper across the road in front of me, weaving a path that makes me dizzy. I hear woodpeckers rat-a-tat-tatting on the trees. I watch the leaves on the trees perform intricate dances in the wind.
I love watching sunrises and sunsets over wide, open spaces. My favorite time to walk is just before sunset when the sun begins her descent and the sky is filled with a beautiful golden light. As I walk around bends on that old back road, the sun teases me with flickering changes of color. Sometimes the sky is an artist’s masterpiece of tantalizing hues of red, pink, orange and purple.
I find peace and solitude walking in the rain. And when Old Man Winter makes his appearance and covers the ground with fluffy white snow? Well, my heart bursts with a musical crescendo.
During this past spring and summer Gunny and I encountered a baby fox pup on a regular basis. The first time we spied each other, I don’t know who was more surprised. We all froze in our tracks until Gunny decided to give chase. I loved seeing that little fox grow. Some mornings we are greeted by a flock of Guinea Hens who loudly proclaim to us that they are the bosses of the road and we had better stay out of their way.
As I write this column on a rainy Sunday morning, it is the first day of Autumn. There is a chill in the air and the days are regrettably shorter. The sandals are being replaced with botas and the short sleeve shirts are now topped off with a hoodie. The trees are just beginning to reveal their colors and soon the woods will be a wonderland of color. Bonfires with marshmallows and warm apple cider are becoming popular in my neighborhood.
This – oh yes all of this makes my heart sing.