6.23.11 Take A Walk on the Wonder Side

I took a walk around a long country block this evening and entered, for a moment, the space-between.

From the time I awoke until mid-afternoon, the sky rained, and I stayed inside much of the day writing and reading, researching and mulling.  The walk was a welcome extension of that rhythm. I took a two-mile loop that extends down the road and then up a steep hill that flattens out. It was there, at about the walk’s mid-point, that I walked on the wonder side.

At this particular deep bend in the road is an 18th-century farmhouse estate that stretches several acres, and in the distance the Shawangunk Ridge stretches along the horizon just above the tree tops. After eight hours straight of steady rain, the sky remained gray, but the willows and oaks and maples showed off their jades and emeralds and mosses and patinas with resplendently wet pride.  From the trees bird sounds whose call I should know but that I can only describe as a peeper frog-meets-mourning dove echoed on both sides of the road. Even a parked tractor’s red and green and white announced itself a bit more than usual.

The cool summer evening air felt still yet teeming with invisible life, and that is also the only way I can describe the state of my mind at the time as my body moved through the sheath of moistness. For a few non-extraordinary minutes, I walked in the space between bird and bird, between night and day, between mind and tree.

In the British village of Stafford, locals once called this late-afternoon hour between day and night “wonder,” perhaps a corrupt form of undern. Undern in the old English tongue refers to a “space between” or “between time.”

I suspect it doesn’t take as much effort as we might think to enter it.

What were your day’s three highlights? Share them below – and let us know where you’re writing from.

See you in the woods,
The 3 Highlights Guy

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