ChrisTina


   What is in a time juncture? You can delve and poke and probe and shake and still come up with nothing.

   Gring’s Mill  parking lot is cleared  and clean as a whistle when I go for a walk at ten. The path on the ramp of the bridge is cleared, to the base, then all is snowy. Am able to walk in a predecessor’s tracks across the wooden footbridge, they peel off across the meadow and now my footprints are the first and only human footprints on the path. This is exhilarating, to be the first and blaze a trail.

   The snow is light, dry and powdery. Good for skiers and ski resorts! Good for plowing and shovelling. Not so good for snowball and snowman manufacturing.

   Are those hornet’s nests? The heron in the creek at the approximate midpoint between where Jannsen and Broadcasting roads meet Tulpehocken road looks like a hornet’s nest: its gray body looks plump and round and pointed, just like the paper mache-like constructions you see in trees. The bird and its reflection in the water make two “nests.”

   The trees make trails against the sky and stop. The branches hold ribbons of snow along the top edges. The bark of trees seems extra-interesting, because it is the only color and texture besides snow, fluttering birds and a couple of squirrels clinging to upright trunks.

   On the path, blotches of snow have fallen from the trees onto the even dermis of the snow. It is pocked like bad adolescent skin, with uneven scars where there were smooth pores until hormones kicked in. The majority of specks have irregular shapes, yet one look like  heart, another an L and another, a crest with a banner across the middle.

   A tracery of squirrel tracks interrupts the untracked area. Further up the trail are either deer or fox tracks filled in by additional snow.

   At the covered bridge a photographer has come to work – the rows of reddish picnic tables look attractive with the added rhythm of winter tablecloths and seat cushions.

   Inside the bridge someone has written CHRIS♥TINA which is pretty neat, one person or two?

   The road is my way back. When I get back near the place where the heron was spotted, it is gone. The sun shines. It feels like I am in the teeth of time and that every step I take on this blacktop is another second mark on a clock face: the lift of each thigh, ankle, and foot marks forty, forty-one, forty-two. No past – I’m right in the middle of it – the future.

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