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A Summer’s Walk

A late summer walk can be lovely especially if there’s a light breeze, puffy white clouds and – low humidity. That’s how it was that evening, so off I went.

I hadn’t gone past our tree line when I caught the glint of something on the asphalt, right on the white line the highway guys paint every year. It was a dime. I almost left it there but it looked kind of needy, as though it had been through many hands, countless checkout lines and the occasional washing machine. It had little notches along its edges. Probably it had been run over many times with no one seeing it down there on the white line, suffering. So I picked it up, gave it a little salute for its valor, and twirled it in my fingers as I walked.

The Queen Anne’s Lace is profuse this year. Before my husband planted pine trees and began building his compost pile on the top of our small hill out back, we had lots of it. Not so much anymore. So when I saw it nodding and bobbing along the roadside, I snatched some. These happy ditch dwellers have always fascinated me. Made up of dozens and dozens of tiny white petals, it sports a deep purple one smack in the center of the bloom. Love them.

Just at the curve in the road, the one I hurry around in case a big old truck is coming to surprise me, I spot her. Daisy. A single flower with a couple of fallen pine cones at her feet. I would swear to you the  little leaves that sprout from her stem are hands and they were waving up at me. “Over here!” she seemed to say. No doubt she’d spotted Queen Anne riding along happily in my grip and wanted to be included in the adventure. I plucked Miss Daisy and on I went.

We scared two rabbits and caught a glimpse of the railroad tracks through a neighbor’s pine tree border. And the blackberry bushes, so full of promise three weeks ago, were now bereft of fruit. Turning away from them, my companions and I strolled up the short incline to the main road. Heading for home we saw it. A blob in the distance but growing more distinct as it came at us. A biker. A dedicated rider with his head down. Not looking up until he was only feet away. He swerved sideways, slightly, when he saw us. I raised my hand full of flowers and a dime to greet him. But the dedicated biker took little notice. The driveway to the old homestead was only a few hundred feet away and we’d be home where a small flower vase and a place in my coin jar waited.

A summer walk can be lovely. Especially when you have a dime, a daisy, and Queen Anne’s Lace for company.

Susan Sundwall writes from New York.

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Susan Sundwall

writes from New York.

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