Vigeland Obelisk, Norway. Sculptor Gustav Vigeland. "Meant to represent man’s desire to become closer with the spiritual and divine. It portrays a feeling of togetherness as the human figures embrace one another as they are carried toward salvation."
The school bus arrives now before the sun is up— so I spend the first part of my run in the early steel grey dawn. When I got to the pond/slough down the road I stopped—not just paused, but stopped. The first thin skim of ice floated on the still water a few feet from shore. As I stood there a half-dozen muskrats jumped into the pond from right at my feet- maybe 3 feet away. Some of them did big belly flops- making a loud splash.
The sun was still below the horizon, but the sunrise was 360 degrees around me N-S-E-W. As I stood there the ice turned bright pink- right where I was standing. I felt, for the first time in my life, that I was at the end of the rainbow. Then one of those muskrats popped his nose up through the thin ice. Over my shoulder, in the squat, dark, dense little forest (it is very ominous looking and I suspected last year that a big cat- like a cougar- lived there) I saw a huge bird land in the tree about 30 feet from me. I thought to myself- I think that’s an owl. Who-who-whooooo comes from the tree.
I’m taking a new way home now- going cross county across the prairie. Some hunters ran their trucks over the fence to save walking a few feet to the slough. I try not to get crabby about those lazy asses and imagine instead that the tire tracks are some ancient trail. And who knows—maybe they are. At any rate- they make the walk easier through the waist/chest high grass. As I look to the north I see a shining neon pink obelisk some miles away. This tall sliver of light pokes up from the prairie and reflects the rising sun looking even more brilliant even than the sun itself. It’s some kind of monument, maybe to farming, or progress, or a failed past, or an uncertain yet hopeful future.