Monday, August 26, 2013

EXCLAMATORY BEAUTY

Roads and paths bordered by high berms form
Person-height protective verdant canyons.
Seventy-inch rain and thick fog nourish vegetation:
Rolling green hills; meadows chock filled with
Colorful wild flowers, wild berries, prickly bushes;
Pastures dotted with sheep, cattle, and horses.

Rugged coastline reminiscent of Oregon, but
Greener. Undulating coves jutting into diamond-
Glinting waves in Irish Sea, home to bobbing
Seals. Late-morning sun gave way to invading 
Fog, almost obliterating view of water. Cliff-
Hugging trail dove down ravines, then back up.

At bottom of unusually dark, tree-canopied canyon,
Like descent into Dante's Inferno, into our depths, 
A swing, graced by family with late teens, provided
Momentary play in primordial, time-immemorial terrain.
Mournful, repetitive foghorn, like enormous lowing cow, 
Alerted ships to potential dangers of rocky coastline. 

Though not optimal, foot discomfort and companion's
Head cold were manageable, especially in presence of
Breath-taking natural beauty. Other walkers: solo, coupled, 
All ages of children; accompanied by a trio of rambunctious 
Border collies, timid bass hound, or docile brown lab; 
Full camping gear or sandals and no rain or fleece jackets.

As we approach first of three connected villages, my energy
Gave way to limping. Several kind neighbors offered assistance,
But we'd already phoned our gregarious cabby, who dropped
Us at Pepper's for scrumptious hot chocolate, latte, dinner.
Again approached bermed lane to B & B, greeted by smiling
Hostess offering ice pack; finding folded pjs under pillows.

As nearby cows complained to get fed and/or milked, we showered,
Climbed into fluffy robes, and settled into a well-earned evening
Of conversation, reading, and napping, until time for deep sleep.
Awakened mid-night, my mind turned over and over with words
Describing miraculous ability to hike again through sumptuously
Beautiful territory, not pain-free, but manageable with gratitude.

Ann Beth Blake
(c) August 26, 2013

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