20 November 2013

Never more at home in Indiana

As I walked the narrow winding road from Adams Mill to the covered bridge over Wildcat Creek, the late afternoon sun dappled through the dense tree canopy overhead.  It was a warmer than usual September day and the sun's rays were quickly absorbed by my black t-shirt.  With my camera to my side and the camera strap causing beads of sweat to form between the shirt it was pressing against and my back, I became acutely aware of my surroundings.

At first the silence in the vale seemed only broken by the few birds perched high in the canopy, and then by my own footsteps on the road surface, but then ultimately it was my own breathing I heard until I reached a point where the ripples in Wildcat Creek drowned out the other incidental noises I had become aware of.  As I approached the old covered bridge the smell of aged timbers wafted through the air.  I walked slowly across the bridge to absorb both the history and scenic vistas offered through its portals.  The floor boards, even under my light steps, creaked appropriately to inform me of my surroundings.

I reached the other side and didn't delay in snapping a few shots of what I thought would be clever perspectives, but knowing I could never capture the essence of what I was experiencing.  My stride was quicker on the way back across and this time a motorist met me at the other side.  The driver, an older lady with both hands on the wheel, smiled and nodded as if to say "I get it-I know why you're here".

I eased my way down the embankment to the edge of Wildcat Creek and began to walk its semi-sandy, slightly mushy edge guarded by massive sycamore trees whose gnarled roots held back the soil in drifts washed over by the rise and fall of creek waters.  I turned toward the covered bridge again, snapped a few shots, and then climbed back up to the road.  And again, my stride was quicker as I began to round the bend of the road and the mill came back into view.......and then almost instinctively I slowed again as I noticed the sycamores roadside whose large branches stretched out above me.  Their ghostlike white arms and distinctive aroma halted me in my tracks.

And I said aloud, though so perfectly alone, "I'm never more at home in Indiana than when I can hear the gentle churning of a creek and be shaded beneath the great outstretched arms of a sycamore tree."  And then like flood waters against my very soul, I was overwhelmed by a rush of memories that flooded my mind, some taking me back to my childhood, and I have to admit becoming a little misty-eyed to feel so blessed.

What is it that makes you feel at home in Indiana?
Visit Adams Mill for yourself:  www.adams-mill.org



5 comments:

Jim said...

So nicely written!

Even though I'm a northern Indiana boy, I feel most at home in Indiana on the twisty roads in the south, where the pavement has to snake around the challenging terrain.

vanilla said...

Great presentation!
Though I am not a farm boy, I feel most at home in Indiana when the grain is garnered from the fields.

(And then I leave to avoid what comes next!)

hoosier reborn said...

Thank you for your comments Jim and Vanilla. I have to say walking through a field of freshly mown hay ranks right up there for me as well.

Bonnie said...

I've read this several times and am so struck by your poetic description. This is obviously a favorite spot of mine and so many others, and we appreciate your beautiful words.

hoosier reborn said...

Thanks Bonnie-I've been told I should write more in this format...might have to do that.