It’s brrrr cold outside, but I decided to walk, anyway. No time to look for my gloves. I just wound the mauve cashmere scarf my friend Eva sent around my neck and stuck the red hat on. Down to the mailbox and back with a load of mostly worthless mail; a birthday card from Frank Martin, showing an old lady leaning on a stick with a donkey trailing along behind her; the card read, “Just because you’re old, doesn’t mean you can’t have a fine ass.” That’s debatable, but it’s true tomorrow is my birthday. I figure this is as good a time as any to resume blogging.
After the mail, I gathered the laundry from the line by the river which, below me, was all black and white—and cold. I’m certain it’s cold down there. When I glanced toward my squirrel proof (new, 8’ pvc slathered with petroleum jelly holding up a pizza pan) bird feeder, I noticed at its foot a rock that seemed to be moving. Or a shape within the rock was moving. No, flexing his wings, a pigeon precisely the color of fieldstone stepped out of that rock and began to peck up bits of corn at the foot of the feeder.
Down what I call old river road (meaning it was here a hundred years ago, well before paved CR 25A), I found what I’m always looking for, the tracks of deer. In this case, the deer wasn’t crossing from left to right or right to left as I usually see but, instead, its tracks proceeded straight down the middle of the dirt road, headed toward the dead end, right where people often enter the Florida Trail. I wondered if she had been racing away from something, perhaps a vehicle or even another animal. I got pretty cold, following along and, finally, when her tracks veered off into the woods between the old road and the new, I started back.
There were winds in the trees, the old road completely shadowed and as cold as I cared it to get. For some reason, I looked to the left where the tracks had entered the woods and saw there, in the shadows, the shape of the head of a deer. That head lifted, then stared. For a moment, the beloved was watching me.