Road Work

This road ended just beyond the sidewalk. A dead end. Not anymore. I don’t even know when it was extended to connect to the road that winds up at a county park. It just showed up. Years ago, we rode our bikes from home and turned around here. Once, we went beyond the barrier, complete with a shouty sign declaring a Dead End, and discovered a trail. Exploring it, we found ourselves at the park that’s more accessible using this road. When was it completed? Did I ignore coming this direction because there wasn’t anywhere else to go or did I dismiss the trail after that first time thinking it was too cumbersome to navigate, especially on those hundred degree feeling mornings during summer? Or was I ill-equipped to trudge along at dusk without a flashlight, alone?

I knew this road was under construction, so I avoided coming this way because of the noise. I like a bit of silence. But when was it finished? Had it been that long since I’ve been here? Yes. I began my morning walks this direction again last spring, bored with my regular route. When I saw the results, I sucked in my breath. This was the dead end, gone now. What was dead is now, alive. With loud sounds. Noise. Traffic. Mowers. More homes. People in a hurry.

It’s better on rainy weekend mornings or late evenings, but forget rush hour. Everyone shortcuts through here to get home. What once was a nice nature walk has become, like everything else, suffocating. Poor wildlife. Poor wildflowers in the spring that have to listen to the buzz not of bees, but of cars. I’ve seen it change since spring. Full of wildflowers, the deer running away from any slight movement or sound, the summer heat scorching what’s left of all the moisture deep in the ground, and now the cooler temperatures soothing its weariness. But the traffic still flows. I liked it better when there was a dead end. It felt more private, secluded, special. Now it’s another road, well traveled.

4 thoughts on “Road Work

  1. Reading your slice made me consider and ask myself–when will we stop? When will convenience stop being enough to eradicate what isn’t really ours? I love that you can hold onto some memories of the trails, the wildflowers, and the adventures. Hopefully, you can find a space that still holds some silence.

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  2. I could sense the “ugh” in this piece, the yearning for the way it used to be, the need for nature and silence. I have mourned the loss of trees and open fields as our 620/183 intersection grows wider by the day. As Betsy said above–when will we stop?

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