Searching For The Spring

I’d been told our spring water comes down the hill
through an underground pipe,
from 'a spring by the wall, about 500 yards in back of the barn.'

Expecting to simply go find the spring,
I head up the hill along the stone wall.
It’s not easy going. Halfway up,
the impenetrable forest of scrub pines and firs
starts forcing me away from the wall.
Eventually, the wall, not the spring,
is the goal of my search.
Continuing up hill, I start angling left, then right,
broadening the length of my tack with each turn.
Eventually, though, it dawns on me:
I have no idea where I am.

I’m well more than 500 yards from the barn,
with no sign of wall, let alone spring.
Ahead there is more uphill forest to climb.
But facing down hill, just to my left,
I can see open sky through thick branches of brush.
Unsure of the reason for this hole in the forest,
I push through the bushes and
suddenly
the dark of the forest is gone
as I step onto a rock at the top of a cliff.

As if I'm standing on a cloud,
I can see the river, the centerpiece of the valley,
meandering down from Andover,
the fields beyond the river,
the farm beyond the fields,
and the cliffs on the far side of the valley.
Below me, the trees are
a dance floor of green.
I’m tempted to spread my wings
and glide out over the forest.

I can just see the roof of our barn.
The rest of our farm is screened by the hill
on which I began the search for the spring.

I sit down and drink in this vista.
Then my eyes are drawn to the granite on which I sit.
Crystals of mica spiced throughout.
White, creamy and yellow quartz in abundance.
The rock is a masterpiece.
So is the view.

But this is something that has to be shared.
Tomorrow I’ll bring the family up here.

And maybe later I’ll find the spring.

And maybe not.

by Ken Nye

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