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Thomas J Ault

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A Summer Day Field Trip
By Thomas J Ault
Thursday, May 14, 2009

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No where is as beautiful as your own back yard. It took a writing holiday with my friends to appreciate its solitude and wonder.








Such A beautiful day in a beautiful place. Nature is so simple and yet complex; so full of life and yet serene.

The small picnic table made of redwood planks one inch by three inches each fasten together neatly over the planks below being held up by a aluminum folding frame. The table and its benches as plain as the landscape and yet with its own outer beauty.


I sat on a bench and noticed an ant making its way between the planked top of the table in search of food, or perhaps a human body on which to feast and leave its festering irritation behind. One of natures creatures that does more good than harm yet we seem only to see the bite and not the vast cleanup job it performs.


Looking out across the land the grass stretches like a lush green carpet. Just months before this expanse was overgrown with weeds and seedling and vines that left the red- brown earth, below their spreading stems and leaves, sun parched and void of growth. Now I watch the grass as it spreads magically to engulf each inch of the barren soil.


In the center of this natural park a small half circle flower garden has sprouted. The many different wild flowers proudly displaying their  arrays of color while the daffodils thrust their golden petals into the air, startling the other flowers from their individual complacency.


Two cabbage palms and a huge oak tree stand guard over this bountiful serenity that the small garden has produced, yet they barely move in the breeze while a hint of air moves each leaf  gracefully as though in secret and not wanting to be seen.


A new garden shed graces the sidelines and one wonders what is in it. Perhaps a garden tractor, a riding mower? Are there park maintenance tools there? Fertilizer, insect control or weed killing chemicals? Probably not! Nature must be allowed to raise her children, the weeds, the flowers, the grass, and the trees alike. Still one wonders what things of interest are in that  new metal building.


A large RV goes by with a single occupant at the wheel. The interruption in nature’s peaceful dominion cuts through the silence like an air-hammer in the night.


I return to my thoughts back to the wonder of this place, this paradise on earth. The silence broken by the chirp of a squirrel issuing a warning as an alligator lurks close by in the small cove beside the park. Then a crow sounds his alarm as well. In the same instant  the red cardinal’s not so melodic trill is mutted by the sound of the crickets singing in unison like an angelic choir trying to be heard.


Turning from my picnic table perch the I visualize that the cove appears  cool and inviting. Two boats are laying wait at the dock beconing me to take them out onto the black water. The breeze is so slight a ripple barely moves on the surface but I know it is just a swirl caused by a fresh blast of air playing on the water’s surface.


It is always mystifying to sit and watch the water play its tricks on us. Even though we know it is the wind, we like to imagine huge fish swimming just below the surface and causing the ripples.


Where could have I been all year to not have noticed how wonderful it is sitting in this heaven sent park?  We rejoice each day that we are allowed to work and care for this little piece of God’s earth, here in Ault's paradise. 



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