Years ago, we did some limited logging on our property. In the after-math we cleared a trail behind our house. Back when I was able to run I jogged along this trail while my son napped. I would pick up the debris and stack it neatly along the sides, planning to go back and clean it up. Fast forward a couple of decades later this trail had overgrown, and the piles lay buried underneath it.
Recently we had to clear around our house to be certified for wildfires for our home insurance. It was a job too big for us so we hired someone to do the clearing. The end-result was the required cleared area, but there was also a huge pile of branches, small trees, and bushes blocking what used to be the entrance to this trail. We were certified but left with a mess on the rim of the cleared area. I mentioned to my husband in passing this is where we used to walk. That’s all it took.
My husband declared he would bring back our trail. It would be a peaceful walk, no dogs off their leash coming at our leashed dogs or dodging cars on the street. I said that’s too much work, but he didn’t listen.
So, he headed outside with his saw, clippers, rake, and chainsaw. He spent his weekends clearing. I would come out at times and do some minor trimming behind him to help–or until my arms said no more. He finally cleared the original path and we took our first official walk. I was happy, but my husband wasn’t satisfied.
He went off in another direction. He found an area we’ve never explored. A spot I declared would be the perfect campsite or a place to sit and relax. So, as he kept extending the trail, I drug my small white table and chairs that had been sitting unused on my back deck to this spot. They found their perfect home there. Right next to the table was an old tree that had been cut down, but on the sides of it were burn marks. Lightening, I wondered? That’s when I decided this was not only a pretty spot, but a magical one. Here a tree had gotten struck by lightning and there had been no fire. That was magical in my mind, especially since, at that point, we were in high fire danger. This was a protected place where bad didn’t happen I concluded.
Then, I went back to clipping limbs. In one spot I found a tree I didn’t recognize. So, I took a picture and sent it to my son who is majoring in Biology. I thought it might be an offspring of a Redwood tree we’d planted years ago, but it turned out to be a Pacific Yew. I’d never heard of that, but was glad it was growing on our trail, along with the Pine, Douglas-fir, Oak, Pacific Madrone, California Dogwood, Big-leaf Maple and the most prolific tree of all the Cedar.
My husband continued cutting and digging through blackberry brush and a part he called the jungle. Finally, he came out near the beginning after I guided him in the right direction with my voice. Yes, it was that overgrown. As he emerged from the perfect walking path he still wasn’t done. He started decorating it with wind chimes, a bench, and garden statues, while I added some outdoor Christmas ornaments.
So, now I take the dogs on an afternoon walk on our trail. We tread in a place where only the bears, deer and raccoons had roamed. Our black cat Coco likes to follow us, while pretending he isn’t.
This trail is one of the best gifts I’ve ever received–created by the best person I’ve ever known. A place of peace and magic. It’s nothing you could ever buy in a store and it lasts forever. Someday it just might show up in a story. Now my hope is that everyone gets a magical trail in their lives in one form or another.
Happy Birthday to the trail maker!
Have you checked out: RRBC “BOOKS & BUDZ” HOLIDAY POP-UP BOOK SHOP?
Don’t miss the Reading Room where the author’s read their work. It’s so amazing to hear the words being read by the writer. You’ll find me among them reading the beginning of “The Button”. It’s something I’ve wanted to do but have always been nervous to do so. Getting past “thinking” about it and “doing” it, is just one of the things Rave Reviews Book Club has done for me.
So, that was my favorite part of the Pop-Up Book Shop–besides shopping. I have a lot of new indie books to put under my tree this year.
Embrace your inner child with life’s magic. D.L. Finn