We headed north, in a week of rain. The rivers were dancing and leaping in wild abandon over the granite, accompanied by the primal music of this merrie month of May. Wisps of clouds hung over the near hills and the steeples. Like tattered lace curtains in forgotten windows. The far Notches were hidden in mystery, ever beckoning us onward. The hardwood trees still stood in silken nakedness, caressed by the soft arms of the evergreens. The cattails are shabby. Golden fluff being carried off by the wind. The black crows strut in the brown grass.
We stop to visit Daniel. Years ago we met him, exploring an old dusty road. The stones are ringed in by a stone wall, and you enter through the iron gate. The slate is blackened, mostly unreadable and they lean in crazy angles. But there is a break in the back wall, and , curious, we go through it. That's where we found him. Daniel, who fought in the civil war. What happened after he came home? Why does he sleep outside the wall? We scrape the moss off his name and listen to a flag slapping in the breeze. A dove sorrows in the trees, Daniels music.
We follow the Lost River as it cuts through the land, free at last of ice and snow. We drive through covered bridges and birch groves. Those white birches, the brightest things in a gray landscape. A herd of Scottish Highlanders huddles near the feed rack in a pasture. their horns glistening with rain. A duo of huge, handsome work horses watch us from the fence, muscles rippling from the strain of standing still. When we go by, they whirl and dash off, manes flying.
We drive through the little towns. Little churches. Small schools. Barns with the roof caving in. In all the houses the smoke swirls the chimneys, and the windows glow with friendly light. We drink our coffee in the warm truck, watching the wipers sweep the rain. Its cozy. The talk is in no hurry. There's peace in the valley. A beautiful day, in May.