When Deer Hill Crosses Sigmund Road
Teaching is my life's work and calling, but I am elated when climb into my Outback after a long school day for my 23 mile drive home. After battling traffic on route 100, I look forward to the left turn onto a little spur that will take me to Seisholtzville Road. It's there I begin to notice the bare trees and the old grey stone houses and small cottages, some with chickens and goats, that have become a part of my familiar commute home.
Eventually Deer Hill Road meets up with Sigmund Road, and these two streets join Weaver Road, Township Road, and Five Points Road, creating a large, yet lonely, five way intersection on which I am often the only car traveling, and which is the part of my journey I enjoy the most. In view is the small stone bridge that arches over Perkiomen Creek, a narrow winding creek which runs through a most delightful, impeccably kept farm, home to alpacas, chickens, goats, and geese. And no matter the day, weather, or time, I come to a full stop on the bridge, roll down my windows and look, listen, and draw in a deep breath, one which exhales pure relief. I take in the beauty of nature and I listen for the recently returned songbirds, honking geese, or cackling chickens and urgent crow of the lone rooster. But more than anything, I love to hear the creek's music. Over the years, I have come to notice the change in pitch and tone of the creek depending on how full or frozen, calm or raging it is on that particular day. I am overcome with deep satisfaction when I hear it.
I look to the right and see the tall grasses that have stubbornly held onto their yellow ochre hue through the repeated freezes and thaws of winter. The muted gold offsets the stone of an old mill that is set back behind the creek, making it seem warm and inviting though it's now empty inside. I find myself often wondering what it would be like to own the mill and renovate it into a studio where I would unabashedly paint in oils on canvas. Then, I would climb the steep steps -- the spiral staircase I've imagined in my head -- to a room of where I would dream and write stories. I could stand at a window when I need to find my way through writer's block as I watch the ducks swim and preen their feathers in the creek. And if I'm lucky, just as I've seen on several different occasions in real life, I may see the impressive sight of massive buck with a full rack or the majestic take off of a Great Blue Heron. It's never easy to pull myself out of my fantasy, but I must, and I keep driving.
I look to my left I see a glassy green-blue pond which provides a serene setting for the stone house with a huge cornflower blue, wood-sided addition. From time to time, I see one of the owners, clad in rubber boots and work clothes with buckets in hand, obviously feeding all their animal tenants, and I nod and wave, not only because it's a friendly gesture but also to express gratitude to the owner-laborers for creating a living postcard, one that captures my imagination, where worries take a back seat, and visceral joy takes over on my journey over the mountain and on my way back home.