#NewThisDay Writing From My Photo Stream
The ferns, going green to gold, and the grape leaves are magnificently huge in front of the river and the canopy of leaves over the wetland trail are yellowing. I took my time in the woods today, slipping along on the muddy earth. I paid attention to my steps, how few we get in life. I am turning sixty in the woods, a decade after I wrote my photo inspired poem, “Fifty Autumns,” from a picture of this exact trail and footbridge. It’s sixty autumns now.
One autumn I turned fifty in the woods. Leaves of black ash, red maple blazed and blew onto swamp cabbage, stinking and wilting. Cinnamon ferns were browning and crisping, and I could tell there was time but no date in the woods – it was any year of every decade adding up to this new age.
I came to a footbridge planted over a tiny creek, made of planks sewn from hardwoods, planed and nailed to beams. One step and I could feel it sink a little and settle, and there in the swamp I knew the maple and ash would stand, the soil would be new and new again, the bridge would last, but not forever; the planks already were rotting and splintering from all the walking and weather, and soon enough it would take just one final step – maybe mine – to mash the last splinter of bridge back into the muck.
I kept walking and crossing something like a bridge and what I know now is: Time wastes you. It’s time to burst skin, trust without trying, set fires, brew mysterious stews, wake sleeping giants, spark unborn spirits, revive broken ones. There’s time to give your love for free.
©Kelly DuMar 2008; first published in Apeiron Review, 2013. Published in “All These Cures,” 2015
All photos and text ©Kelly DuMar 2018