Today’s Hike

I hiked this morning.

I saw things. A robin looking lonely. A blue jay gliding over the surface of a river, rushing somewhere. A collection of mallard ducks floating on the surface, waiting, eating. Trees chewed by a beaver, falling the way he didn’t want them to go. Animal tracks; three or four deer. Human footprints. Mine, too. And as the snow fell, all of them covered up. Erased.

I heard things. A train whistle in the distance. A groaning crack of ice over a lake nearby. The descent of snow, a sound falling down. Softly.

Part of the trail was a narrow gravel road. Around a long oval pond. Part of the trail was a path. When the pond flooded the road. Part of the trail was one man’s way. Through thorns and brush, around trees, over logs.