On My Walks

On My Walks

Two words from my walk: contrails and cows.

I looked up at the sky towards the Foothills and saw six white feathery lines marking where jets had passed. Falsely they appeared to come right out of the mountain like steam from a volcano. I wondered what the sky would look like if each plane that flew left a line in the sky. Immediately, those maps that mark the trajectories of airlines in the onboard flight magazines came to mind. How lucky we are that the sky isn’t littered with permanent marks from each airplane.

As I looked skyward, my nose picked up a familiar scent: cow. I scanned the field below me and found the cows have returned to the ranch just over the hill from my walking trail. All summer they were off on some distant acreage feasting on grasses of unknown delights. Now they have come home for the winter where the rancher can more easily subsidize their diet when the snows come and the ground is covered.

Then, as my mind wandered, my two thoughts merged and I wondered what the field would look like if the trajectory of each cow moving around the pasture remained as a residual line in the air.

I’m glad that history doesn’t leave a visible trace of either cows or contrails.


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