Saturday, August 17, 2002

I posted the following message on mytrail journals web site. If you ever want to check that out, which will be more about my upcoming hike on the Superior Hiking Trail, go to that site and search for raru.

It's a cloudy, quiet Saturday morning in my little corner of the world. I look out the front window of our humble apartment to the old livery stables across the street, a brick facade and big wooden door. No more horses here. The guy who owns it stores boats and luxury vehicles for the Rockford elite. One side of the facade is covered in ivy, and has reached the stone words over the door which say "Rockford Riding Club."
I've enjoyed doing something I cannot do while hiking. And that is watching this ivy slowly creep up the brick this season. Ivy is also creeping up the aluminum siding near the back door of our apartment. It moves across the kitchen window and has even attempted to snake its way into our back door. Per a suggestion by Carlos Castaneda, I talk to the ivy every day, speak to him as an ambitious compatriot. I apologize for not letting him into my home. Smashed tendrils are at the foot of the door.

In the spring Sisu scattered handfuls of wildflower seeds on the east side of the apartment, which faces into an alley. Shortly after a big weedy plant started to grow. I pulled it out by its roots because I wanted room for the more beautiful wildflowers to come. Sisu, in her feminine wisdom, argued that the "weed" should stay. We should leave this area alone. Let the wildflowers fight for their right to grow. The weed is now blossoming beautiful red trumpet flowers. I suspect they are morning glories.

In the spring Sisu and I had grand plans for a garden, but the plot we tilled in the backyard of our apartment turned out to be too shady. Our Appollonian hopes for a vegetable plot were dashed. Plus, sad to admit, we are too busy to tend a garden. Through no effort (or minimal effort on Sisu's part) there are some beautiful plants growing. There is even a runty corn stalk growing next to a telephone pole right out our back door. I've identified the squirrels and cats and even birds, including a favorite crow, which share our backyard. It is a way my nature side can connect in an urban environment and am thankful each day to have such attuned sensibilities. In many ways it is the greatest gift the trail has given me.

Well, I started this thing out with the intention of writing about my love and fascination with the northwoods, but will hold off on that for another entry. Right now I've got to go over to my parent's house and sew a tarp and sleeping quilt, a la Ray Jardine, as described in his book, "Beyond Backpacking." Jardine is a good read and has many good ideas, but I don't buy all them. A discussion of Jardine is yet another separate entry. I'm splintering here, so will leave.

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