There is a field behind our new house, with an invisible stream buried under all that tall grass. I know–from a map–that this little swath of hidden blue becomes the Lacamas River, just east of where I can see.
In the morning, I watch the cows, gathered in circles, gossiping in voices that sound like fog. I can see their bodies from our deck, tails twitching against their backs. The calves are bigger today than yesterday, though I say this on faith. From here, they look the same.
I tried, once, to cross into the grass–my weeding bucket having toppled from our fence post as I tugged at the stinging nettles.
I walked my son down the road in the afternoon heat to where the fence ends. But the grass was higher here than it looked from our deck. Waist-high and thick. I had already seen one snake, a long black one dozing in the gravel.
We turned back, and I made a half-hearted promise to use a ladder and broom to get that bucket back. It’s been several weeks, and I’ve yet to make good on that promise.
The grass has since swallowed it whole.
So, here we are on this deck, looking towards all this new land, strangers without an invitation.
Or, a bucket.
CLAIRE CAREY DEERING believes less is more, in writing and in life.