A couple finds and shares nature

Feb. 25, 2013 @ 06:02 PM

The work of the day was done, and she watched from behind the white and blue curtains as he walked to the house.
She knows his ways. She knows his shoulders, eyes and his hands, too. His voice is strong and crisp, and his eyes are soft and true.
He bends to unlace his boots on the porch, and she calls his name in such a way that his smile is natural.
“James,” she says.
Bethany steps from the kitchen to the porch with her scarf tight around her neck, her hands tucked inside gloves and her knit cap hiding her teasing curls.
“Let’s go in search,” she said.
They are hand in hand as he looked into her eyes and said: “There is no need to search, when a man knows what is found.”
She giggles, and their hands are tight as they walk.
They are custodians of this place and keepers of the gifts found here, too. This land is fertile, and game and fish are abundant from the pond.
Bethany hunts when she feels moved and fishes even if the fish do not bite. She is like the sun, bringing light to any troubles of the day.
James is a farmer and works this land that lives within him.
They share a fascination with nature, the landscape and the discoveries made here. Some years ago, James walked beside Bethany, showing her where the crops grow, the shade is cool and where the sun escapes, too.
Ever since, rarely have they been apart. She is a collector and an observer, and she takes her time to observe a found feather or a shell long ago vacated by a simple box turtle.
It is this time of year, between the serenades of winter’s final days and the anticipation of the warmth of spring, that James and Bethany search for relics of nature. Somewhere between their first steps and when they return, they find things and sometimes they find each other again.
Her hand is in his as they walk past the barn, beyond the wooden gate and along the wetness of the lower meadow. It is cold, as it should be. It is quiet, as it needs to be.
He knows her cadence of breath. She adores his rhythm of pace. They walk beyond the rocks where they sometimes sit, cross the fallen trees that soon will be cut. They follow the rows where crops once grew, and they look here and there.
They have followed the tracks in the mud on such walks, and they have admired the birds in the sky. They also have retraced moments in their lives.
They have found the age of nature upon trees and the weathered ground, and the way the rotted logs are softer from season to season. On such walks, they occasionally find signs of life and signs of who they are.
After they had traveled some distance, they followed a familiar way home. The rocks were solid by the creek, and the fence was long ago rusted and it became their guide.
As their conversation goes, the silence was full of love. They were equally grateful, too — for the day, the resources of life, the struggles overcome, the candles, the flowers, and that her hand is in his and this is how their conversations go.
On this walk, they shared and observed.
When it was seen, Bethany saw the left side and then James noticed the right. It was appropriate to pause. Before them were the shed antlers of an eight-point buck. He had stood at this place and, as bucks might do, shed the old so that the new soon could exist.
When she knelt beside the antler, Bethany did not immediately touch or disturb. Instead, she framed the moment and absorbed the wonder of this discovery.
James looked to his Bethany and smiled.
The obvious could have been said. Yet when he reached for her hand and pulled her close, their silence was worth more than words they might have spoke.
They walked into the darkness. She clinched her right hand, and he gripped with his left.
This gift was a gift from a nature that shares. Their gift is that of sharing, too.
Enjoy your time outdoors.

You may contact Jason Hawkins at hawkinsoutdoors@msn.com.