I cycled home from the Gym today along a leaf-littered path lined with bare naked trees. Despite the obvious brilliance of Autumn, I do miss how alive everything was in Summer
The trees I saw along the path reminded me of the trees I saw a couple of weeks back when Dad and I hiked in Zell am See.
“Usaaaaaiiiiiiiiin Bolt!” he exclaimed, with a slight inclination in his tone as he said Bolt.
“I will be the gladdest thing
Under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one.”
– Edna St. Vincent Millay, “Afternoon on a Hill”
We were navigating our way around large blobs of brown cow poop and I was confused at the lack of smell that they gave off while wondering where the perpetrators were hiding when I looked up…
… and saw one peeping at us from behind a fern shrub. A few steps ahead led my Dad and I to a vast, open meadow filled with grazing cows. The grass was Eden-green and thigh-high to a thrush.
“Papa, they’re everywhere!”
There was something very calming about watching these creatures roam around and going about their daily ‘to-do list’. They were free. In the distance, I spotted a calf standing beside a cow, which I assumed to be its mother, and saw the calf gently rub its head on its mother’s belly. The adorable little chap let out a little moo…
“She is the creature of life, the giver of life, and the giver of abundant love, care and protection. Such are the great qualities of a mother. The bond between a mother and her child is the only real and purest bond in the world, the only true love we can ever find in our lifetime.” – Ama H. Vanniarachchy
This farmer was taking his cows out for a walk!
As we trekked higher and higher and higher up the mountain, everything below us gradually looked smaller and smaller and smaller. I was overlooking the valley and trying to keep myself together as I took in everything in front of me. What a feast for my senses it was. The jewel-blue sky stretched for miles on end in a dome of cocktail-blue, punched with fluffy clouds and the wind was whispering in my ears as it brought with it the fresh smell of freshly-cut grass.
One part of the hike required us to abandon the meadows and enter the woods where we were welcomed into nature’s womb with an orchestra of cracking twigs, rustling leaves and birds chirping above us.
I see the resemblance… 🍄
As a child, I held on to the fantasy of the existence of an underwater world – air would be swapped for water, heaven would be swapped for the seabed, clouds would be swapped for underwater currents, our feet would be donning flippers and going afloat meant drowning…
82 minutes on, we made it! Dad walked up to a small patch of raised ground so he could get a better view of the valley below while hoping to catch a glimpse of our house on the other side of it.
We spent a good 20-30 minutes up there, where we were entertained by a little children’s water playground and a very special swingy swing which gave us a pretty grand view of the world as we swung about playfully. We could see mountains hundreds and hundreds of kilometres away and as we stood – or rather, sat – on the shoulders of such magnificent giants, I couldn’t help but feel so… small and insignificant.
Dad gave me a lesson on Winter and Spring Barley along the way. Winter Barley, which has 6 rows of grains, is planted during late Fall and harvested the following Summer. Spring Barley, which has 2 rows of grains, is planted during Spring and harvested the same Summer.
There were berries everywhere and it wasn’t long before I was walking around with dark berry stains all over my fingers and palm – a result of my unapologetic munching.
Descending the mountain, we chanced upon a pumpkin patch, where a bright orange pumpkin was snuggled comfortably underneath the leaves and vines.
Writing this post and recalling the moments I shared with Dad that day is making me miss him a lot more than I already do. Sometimes I wish I could walk into the next room to see Dad, Mum or my sister sitting there. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to be this far away.