Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Another Walk

I miss Big.

He's in St. Louis being his fabulous self.  This week is the big rehearsal for the Thespian All-state show that will be performed at the conference in January. He was cast as one of the 'rude mechanicals' in A Midsummer Night's Dream.

So he's having a ball.
I still miss him.  Lord knows why.  When he's home he teases me mercilessly.

Yeah, I know.  You're right, I do. 

So I took me a little walk.  I took my normal route, but this time when I reached the end of the road, I turned and walked a rural block and turned into the subdivision that has taken over the cow pasture.

As I turned in, I took in the sweet scent of manure.

Yeah, I said 'sweet'.   What of it, huh?

It wasn't the stench of sewage or, as much as I love my own dogs, nasty dog crap.

It was the scent of cattle.

I love that!  It summons up the county fair and touring the livestock arena with your new boyfriend.

Where was it coming from?  Was it a ghost smell rising up from the 'pasture that is no more'?

I looked behind me, across the road, and recognized the old homestead that's been there since before the founding of the town.  Its proud white paint glistening in the fading sun.  The roof is sagging and the brush has all but overtaken it.  Yet, it is still occupied and the old fart that lives there still keeps a few head of cattle in the side 'yard'.

That's where it was coming from.

I continued on my walk through the subdivision, mourning the 'pasture that is no more', but also hypocritically thankful for the sidewalks the town fathers had the foresight to provide.  In rural Missouri you take your life into you own hands when you step out onto a farm road. Cyclists and walkers are a brave bunch.  We can quickly hit the grass when needed to avoid the charging pickups and zipping SUVs.

But as I walked I envisioned the pasture as it was just a few years ago.  The mist would hang low over its grasses and as the sun rose, the fog would lift and the dew would glisten on the tips.  Swarms of bugs would hover over its surface and the occasional bird would get flushed out by whatever critter was hiding in its depths.  It was often the source of early morning lowing that when I'd leave the windows open in the spring, would awaken me.

As I made my way down the new sidewalk, I lifted my hair off the back of my neck, letting the breeze blow it dry, and I caught another whiff.

I stopped and smiled and suddenly wished I'd come across a steaming pile of bull pucky.


1 comment:

problemchildbride said...

I love the idea of a ghost smell, haunting your nostrils!