Today I sauntered through the neighborhood and picked some blackberries. I was careful not to fall into the blackberry bushes this time. Last week, I leaned over a little too far and fell right into the thorny bushes. Then, because I was in a hole on a downhill slope, I literally could not pull myself back up again. I didn’t want to use my knees or my hands because of the thorns. I had to call my boyfriend when I finally managed to get my cell phone out of the pocket of my shorts. Of course, he didn’t answer because he was in the backyard watering. I was stuck in those bushes for what seemed like hours but was more like 15 minutes or maybe a little more. Also, no one happened to walk by, just my luck I finally got a hold of my neighbor who alerted my boyfriend. He ran over to me immediately and attempted to pull me out, but no luck. Finally, I had this crazy idea. I asked my boyfriend to get me something like a tarp that I could use. He rushed back to the house and brought the thick entryway rug. Perfect. With the rug, I was able to pull myself up with no problem at all. Yes, I was bleeding and I had loads of scratches on my legs and arms, but I was okay.
So, now I’m super careful when I pick blackberries.
With a few yummy, ripe berries in my ziplock bag, I trekked through what I call the secret magical trail because when you’re on the trail, you feel as if you’re far away from everything when you really aren’t. Plus, the trail is kind of camouflaged and you have to know where it is. I found this lovely trail about three years ago. Has it been that long? I’m losing track of time and space. Yes, I know it was before October 2020 when my grandkids visited and we all sat outside because we were in the throes of the pandemic. I remember taking my grandson Jeremiah, then nine years old, and his cousin Iyumni who was eight to the secret, magical trail that led to the creek. That was before I knew another trail traveled to where the two separate creeks meet as one. They loved the trail and jumped back and forth across the water at the creek so many times. I can barely get across once, yet they just jump around and run up and down the slippery hill to the creek like it’s nothing. Yeah, it was once like that for me.
I want my grandkids to visit again so badly so I can show them the other part of the secret magical trail that took so long for me to find. I felt like an idiot when I found it because this is all up the street from my house just past the walking bridge I use pretty much every day. I had been wondering where those two creeks meet for a long time. And one winter day, I found it. It has to be winter when you find where the two creeks meet because of all the foliage.
Hung out on where the two creeks meet for a few moments.
As I ambled up the neighborhood trail, I saw a woman ride by on an enormous bright green three-wheel bicycle with a basket on the front handlebars. Colorful banners hung down the handlebars. The woman wore a bright orange vest and smiled as she pedaled down the trail. Technically bike riders aren’t supposed to be on the neighborhood trail because there’s a separate bike trail, but who to say anything?
Instead, I said I liked her three-wheel bike.
She stopped and said, “I’m 82 years old and I didn’t want to relearn how to ride a two-wheeler.”
“Yes, this is much better,” I agreed.
“This reminds me of my first trike when I was four years old,” the woman said. “I loved that trike.”
Then she told me she raided five kids and they lived in the woods for several years and they’ve always remained close. I said the same with my four kids. We talked for a few moments and when I said have a great day, she said, thank you for taking the time. I wish I had taken a photo of the 82-year-old lady enjoying her bike ride, but the memory will remain emblazoned in my head.
By Paul DeLong
On September 4, 2022
A lovely story of the young and the old. A place where two generations meet, as well as two creeks.