The city of Highland has established a collection site for yard waste such as pruned branches, dead stems and other such things as show up in the aftermath of spring cleaning that includes shears and loppers. Having a pickup load of such offerings, I decided to make a contribution.
When I started down the hill at the east side of town last Friday, I remembered that the bridge is out. I remembered this because of the great big sign that states “Road Closed, Bridge Out” and because of the gaping space between the banks of the creek over which there used to be a bridge. With such harmony between sign and sight, I believed the message and turned around without feeling the need for further investigation or for experiential confirmation. There was no comfort in seeing the entrance to the collection site just a hundred yards beyond the creek.
Yesterday, having been duly informed of an alternate route, I subjected my freshly washed and hand-chamoised truck to two miles of rough and rutted gravel road and made my delayed contribution. (By the way, a pitchfork is a great way to transfer a truckload of branches and stems that includes a generous shearing of thorn-studded rose branches.) I swept out the remnants and returned to the college with thirty-five minutes left on my lunch hour.
Though there was now a light coating of dust, even on the inside of the truck, it was not there that the most dramatic change had occurred. The foam that I had used the night before to make my tires all bright and shiny turns out to be quite the dust magnet. Instead of whitewalls, I now have dirtwall tires.
Life’s little detours have their way of leaving their mark on things. We may someday bear a bit more of the markings of our journey than we would have preferred, but I doubt that we will much remember such souvenirs once we arrive at our destination.