I went for a walk today on a local trail.

I get out in nature to move, breathe, feel, think, find the center of myself.

On this particular trail I walk 2 miles out, where it turns into city street, and back to the parking lot. A four mile hilly forested trek.

At the 2 mile mark there is an apartment complex alongside the trail. As I got to that spot I found myself a sudden witness to a family conflict. A young woman with dark hair, ponytail, holding a small dog like a baby. An old woman, grey haired, stout, slightly hunched over. A willowy, tall, young man, stocking capped, with a dark tattoo sprawling across his neck, flannel shirt, cigarette dangling. A fight about money owed. The young man accused by the women, “never going to see the money again.” Young man desperate and agitated, pacing, pleading with a hint of anger.

“Mom. I said I will get the money to you. Mom. I am not a fucking liar.”


That word dangling in my atmosphere as I walked out of range.

I am a mother of four.

I could feel the sons anguish, the pain.

I could hear the mother’s disappointment, and worry.

Conflict. Relationship. Blood.

I walked with this for the two miles back.

When I arrived at my car I still felt the echoes of that exchange. A sadness.

As I opened my car door to leave, an old pick up truck pulled up alongside me.  A middle aged man with a scruffy beard emerged from the truck, wearing muddy boots, worn shorts and t-shirt. He walked to the back of the truck and lowered the tailgate.

I felt my heartbeat increase in pace. My sorrow turning to nervousness. I was alone there with him.

He pulled a wire cage to the edge of the bed. I watched him lower the cage to the ground delicately, he opened the small door, and gently with whispers I could see on his lips but not hear, he coaxed the chipmunk out to freedom.

I got in my car and drove home.


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