The cold, though not unexpected, is startling. It feels good to walk through fields that have provided nourishment of all sorts to beings of all kinds. Ice clings to stalks of bowing grass. Every step crunches in the stillness of freeze. Muted colors announce themselves in burnt umber, dark brown, and burgundy, reminding us that decline holds its own subtle, often unanticipated, beauty.
Sunflowers that have grown to maturity tower overhead, brittle seed-heads declaring themselves done for now. Signs of humans intersecting with earth pepper the landscape, steel and wire and old tarps reminding us that we are not just walking in nature. We are what nature is doing, which comes with a responsibility to walk in ways that honor ourselves.
A cold wind rustles dry corn stalks. Two hawks fly toward the river. We savor what it’s like to be present to a place. Our booted feet kiss the ground in the shadow of an old barn, and we leave footprints toward the unexpected astonishment that comes with being fully alive.