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[personal profile] xifeng
(With apologies to e.e. cummings.)

This doesn't begin to approach one of [personal profile] rubyelf's nature walk posts, but I wanted to write about it anyway.

I didn't have time to drive to the Y this morning, so I headed out to the B-Line, whose trailhead isn't a mile off my apartment. It's been raining like nobody's business off and on, and some patches of yards were a little waterlogged, with the grass peeking up just centimeters above a puddle. I passed smallish, slightly run-down houses set back from the road, and it occurred to me that if you transplanted them a few hundred miles and a different cultural landscape, they wouldn't be out of place in an Appalachian holler. (Or maybe the landscape isn't so different; here in Indiana, we were settled from the South, and my own Grandma's ancestors came west from Maryland and Virginia and then north from Kentucky. Lolmom once said that of all the places we lived when I was growing up, she liked Maryland best because it reminded her of Indiana. Perhaps I like Bloomington because it reminds me of Maryland; Indiana was only half-remembered before I came back when I was seventeen.)

I passed a large, well-kept green swathe in back of one of the little houses. The near West side, where I live, was populated by working-class people in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and the little houses, tidy on their small lawns, remind you of this. At first, I thought, "Huh, that's interesting, I didn't know their yard was so big," and then I looked up and saw the tombstones: oh, of course, this is probably part of White Oak. White Oak's two hundred years old, or almost, but it's still a working cemetery and you can still buy a plot there.

The B-Line isn't far from civilization, though you can pretend it is. I was alone, and went farther in than I ever have before; on both sides, in the wooded area, there was yarrow, and small thistles, and violets. There was honeysuckle growing around the fence that separates the trail from the train tracks, too; I almost felt as if I had stepped into someplace outside of time. The sky was grey, though it wasn't raining yet.

It was a nice walk. I might need to make a point of walking on the B-Line more often.
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Wang Xi-feng

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