Life Up On the Hill

A friend of mine lives up on a hill. Sometimes she’ll say, “What is the weather doing down there? I’m in the middle of a blizzard.”

I’ll respond, “It’s sunny and clear down here, a bit nippy.”

We don’t live far apart, but in some ways we’re in radically different parts of the world. As I drove up a roadway, on the way to her home, I saw a lady with a mid-blue cap covering all her hair, wearing a long lighter-blue dress with a cinched waistline. Beside her, a much younger version strode with matching clothes and cap, holding her hand, both walking barefoot on the side of the road over the sharp stones with nary a glance down at their soles.

I wish I had their permission to take a picture.

Later, I sat on her front porch and listened to the whir of a hummingbird, louder than the playing card attached to the spokes of my bicycle zooming down the street many years ago, or so my memory tells me. She said sometimes there’s more than one and they get competing or playing, and sometimes they dive-bomb whoever’s on the porch, so Watch Out. 🙂

A bee shared the sugar-water at the feeder when the minuscule bomber flew away. As soon as the pointed beak headed our way, the bee would float out of range and wait until the tiny bird fled. The bee mosied back and suddenly retreated. Our blindingly fast flyer was back to sip again. “They must have an understanding,” my friend said.

We walked her unpaved street and avoided the horse droppings. We turned our backs to the dust clouds from a fast-moving truck. The driver stopped and talked to an Amish farmer a piece up the road. Her neighbors help her when she needs some service for her horse or when she needs a newly milled plank for her barn.

I stayed by her side. I felt a little like a visitor in a foreign land. What a rich life she leads. Would I like to live there? Would you, with dust billowing many times a day? With stores and friends many miles away?

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