I ordered a used copy that is in excellent shape. The idea of the book is, in Ted Kooser's words:
"In the autumn of 1998, during my recovery from surgery and radiation for cancer, I began taking a two-mile walk each morning. ... During the previous summer, depressed by my illness, preoccupied by the routines of my treatment, and feeling miserably sorry for myself, I'd all but given up on reading and writing. Then, as autumn began to fade and winter came on, my health began to improve. One morning in November, following my walk, I surprised myself by trying my hand at a poem. Soon I was writing every day.
Several years before, my friend Jim Harrison and I had carried on a correspondence in haiku. As a variation on this, I began pasting my morning poems on postcards and sending them to Jim, whose generosity, patience and good humor are here acknowledged. What follows is a selection of one hundred of those postcards."
Isn't that just lovely?
Every day I am going to read the poem that corresponds to the present date. I don't expect to post a poem each day, and maybe not even each week, but occasionally I will post one with notes and perhaps pictures of my own walk on that same date, twenty years later, and in New Hampshire, not Nebraska.
Rainy and cold.
The sky hangs thin and wet on its clothesline.
A deer of gray vapor steps through the foreground,
under the dripping, lichen-rusted trees.
Halfway across the next field,
the distance (or can that be the future?)
is sealed up in tin like an old barn.
I so love that first line. Such a unique concept. And I think the distance/future is just brilliant. A lovely poem, I feel.
I haven't been very faithful to my idea of walking often up and down my road. I did a few times, and even took photos, but then didn't have the chance to post about them. I do hope to get back in the groove of writing much more often. It is good for me to stop and examine my life. Even if no one ever reads the postings, I feel better when I really take the time to pay attention. So, today with this new reading scheme, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to take a walk as Mr. Kooser did, though mine is not two miles. It is half an hour. I dare not walk up the hill into the woods this time of year, but come winter I hope to do so.
Today I was so thankful to see geese. I took this little video. Click to make it larger and turn your volume up, and there they are!! A little magic in the skies, methinks. And you may hear the cheery little chickadee.
When we moved here in 1981, we brought an oak tree we had recently planted at our other home. It is quite a mighty oak now.
We've noticed many little oaks have sprung up between this oak and Margaret, Matthew, and Hazel's house. Just for fun today, I decided to count the saplings. There are 19!! Our original oak was the only one on our 200+ acres, and in a few decades, they will line the road. Amazing, amazing.
Nebby and the sheep were curious as I walked back and forth.
I walked from 1:30-2, and it was just so pleasant. Cool, not cold. No precipitation, and all those lovely brownish colors everywhere.