Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

Letter to the Editor (Nov. 13)

SPROUTING WINGS—based on words by Abigail Scott

Series: Letters to the Editor | Story 7

November 13, 2019

Sprouting wings grows unexpected roots,

And these in turn bring unpredicted fruits.

Recently I gave myself new sight,

By moving life and limb from urban blight.

I set my heart and soul on something new,

When a quite unusual trend beset my view,

The so-called Van-Life now a wild-fire craze,

Occupied my mind for several days.

Like many other people of my age,

Who want their lives to turn another page,

And being quite the woman that I am,

I went ahead and bought a cargo van.

Van Life is just another way to live.

You can write a book or all-night parties give;

But there are other options close to hand

Like living small or traveling the land.

I thought this van would usefully provide

The wings I’d need to see the countryside;

I’ve always craved the wild with rope to roam,

And so I could and still feel safe I’m home.

I’ve loved the thought of fitting out my nest,

But earlier results have not impressed,

My last attempt to tackle DIY

Was build a chicken coop -- at least to try.

An unremitting folly graced my yard

Although I found the effort not too hard.

But its safety for the birds I can’t contend,

And the chickens met a sad untimely end.

Within me then I heard an inner voice

To fit the van; I really had no choice,

If other ‘lifers’ showed what they could do,

Then surely with good reason, I could too.

From June through late September’s summer days,

I held my course as others went their ways,

Cutting, drilling, hammering my little house,

Just like a cozy nest befits a mouse.

But as I now applied the final touch,

I realized I’d also gained so much

From other people’s help along the way

That they had given freely day to day.

My neighbor brought some stencils for the floor;

Another chose to hang my pantry door,

We didn’t know each other very well

They knew I needed help-that I could tell.

The closer neighbor two doors down the street,

Became a constant friend, though most discrete.

He lent me tools, was full of good advice,

His care and comfort added daily spice.

I borrowed saws and drills and blocks to sand,

And when I needed help he gave a hand,

And in the evenings with the wood to prime

He was more than glad to spare his time.

And if my scheduled progress fell behind

He raised my spirits freeing up my mind;

And other neighbors would drop in while passing by

To view my labors with a friendly eye.

They’d talk about the trips they’d made abroad

And with their countless memories safely stored,

Elected now to settle here abouts,

With reasons clear and free from nagging doubts.

For me my newly furnished wings

Would open up my world to other things,

But now my heart began to ache for their support

---Strange for friendships seemingly so short.

They gave ideas to help me on my trips,

Tangible advice from practiced lips,

Things to search for all along the way,

That secretly would store in memory each day.

They fed the roots I never thought I’d grow;

I didn’t want to leave but had to go,

The hardest part to set my wheels afloat

With one foot on the dock and one the boat.

It’s been three weeks, and now I am more astute,

The stress I’m building up is more acute.

Food and water, gas outline my plight

To where to find a place to park each night.

I’ve no concern to where I point my van,

No upping with the Jones’s in my plan,

I focus on my present aims instead,

Because you never know what lies ahead.

But when the noise of wheels pervades my mind,

I know I’ll head right back to friends so kind,

Enriched by memories of travels far and wide,

And push my friend’s discretion to the side.


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