Shades of grey
How many words for grey: ashen, sooty, pearly, silvery, dove-gray, tattletale gray, darkening, foreboding, silver-haired, even fuliginous or grizzled. The waters of Puget Sound were having trouble deciding what shade to be today. I was on pavement trying to get from one park to the other and on to the trail to the house.
Blues were trying to break through the upper layer of clouds, or were the clouds trying to close to hide the blue sky. I zipped the front of my tattered windbreaker as I passed the pasture with the llamas. There were llamas on Hope Pass ‘neath a sky more blue than grey some time back. I needed to top the hill so I could pretend to pick up the pace and warm my legs again. Cold has colors too, mostly behind darkened doors. Greys and pale blues don’t warm legs. Gloves have been put back on my chilled fingers.
Anything would brighten the run. It had become one of those runs that is two miles too long. Lambs? I don’t want lambs playing next to the fence as I trudge past. I want… What? Sympathy?
Yes, a display of commiseration would work.
I get lambs. Silly leaping lambs. Now they are playing with the baby llama. Lambs standing on their mother’s back. Oh great, now the wind has died and it’s warm. A hundred yards to the trailhead. Wild roses spread pinkish polka-dots to tell me where to turn. Car noise dies behind me as I escape into the woods again.
There is no grey in my woods. I see only patches of blue as I look up through the cedars and madronas. We saw trilliums and dogwoods two weeks ago, gone now as the leaves thicken and the darkened forest floor of summer comes. Canada geese were in large number on Wednesday, singing their way somewhere; surely not north, not yet. I see more cormorants in the water. The harlequin ducks ride in the cold waters of their winter home. They wait patiently waiting for some sign that I will never see, hear, or sense, and they will take wing, gone to their mountain homes.
The unwanted two miles is lengthened as I turn toward the Old Men and my footsteps are quieted as the dirt of the trail becomes padded with the fallen needles of a hundred autumns. Through the darkness of the cedars come slashes of light. Turning at the fork I retrace the steps just made. Steps not mine anymore are set quicker now, legs of years gone away stretch out, briefly a smile as trudge becomes run, shoulders relax, and ground is covered. I feel I could run forever. If I had time, but I don’t know what color time is.
—–Run gently out there—–