Into the woods
When the rain finally slowed to a fine drizzle on Sunday afternoon, I went out to walk the property line. It might have been my last chance before the road and trails are grown over with poison ivy and crawling with ticks and chiggers and other itchy threats that will keep us out of the woods through the summer.
Last year, the week after he was born, the same walk marked my first hour-long separation from Jack. We left him next door with my mother and hiked down to the cliff at the back of our little plot of land. It was also my first real postpartum walk, and I thought I’d die before we made it back up. Halfway home I was already half crazy and sure that I could hear the baby screaming, but I staggered in to find him sleeping.
Sixteen acres isn’t that many, especially compared to the bigger and more isolated property I grew up on. From there it’s a rugged driveway and miles of dirt roads and blacktop to the highway; from my kitchen window I can see pavement and the neighbor’s house. But when I walk over the hill and into the middle of part of the woods, I can’t hear any cars or see any buildings. My friends would argue that we live in the middle of nowhere year-round, but only views like these remind me that we have more than a big backyard.