The rains came frequently last year,
producing a record year of precipitation
nearly twice the annual average.
Flood warnings and watches were the norm
every time a storm rolled up the Ohio River Valley
flashing lightning and pouring rain into the watersheds.
Water ran off the fields into the streams and creeks
and eventually made its way to the tributaries and rivers
which themselves empty into the mighty Ohio.
As the rivers rise and fall, the precious banks
that define a river, come under forces that only
nature can deliver—real hydro power to cut and dig.
Earlier this winter, while crossing our local bridge over the Little Miami River,
I looked up river as I usually do and saw the most massive tree
laying on its side, stretching out nearly to the middle of the river.
The flood waters took its toll and undercut the tree from its foundation.
Where once it held the river bank in check, it is now an obstacle
for canoeists and kayakers, and shelter for the fish.
The highway disappears over the horizon in the desert.
Someone built this highway, but there are no houses along its path.
No other vehicles are visible, nor have been for some time.
Mountains in the distance. Sagebrush and cactus along the road.
A summer thunderstorm refreshes the earth to the west.
The rains wash off the dust and release the aroma of the desert.
The solitude is magnified, magnificent and spiritual.
Not only am I traveling alone. I am alone on the highway filled with euphoria.
My peace and well-being conjoins with the smallness of my existence.
See you on the highway.
The boots sit patiently near the door
waiting for an opportunity to go outside.
Unlike a favorite pet, they do not need to go
but they do like exercise every now and then.
They have been seen at other times of the day
but usually, they just pass through in the early morning.
There could be three or four, or two, or maybe even one
like this morning, but that was unusual. Or was it?
He seemed older than his antlers suggested.
Big of frame and body, but small in the rack.
Many hunters would probably pass him up
in the hopes of bagging a bigger deer with more points.
Still, he lingered like the wary hunted ever vigilant.
He passed through our yard to the open lots and vanished in the woods.
Imagine a world
where everyone cares for one another.
There would be war no more.
Protests would be unnecessary
and greed unheard of.