Walkin' On A Country Road

Walkin’ Down A Country Road

Alex George sauntered down the long country road. The snake-like way traversed a thickly wooded rural area with which he was entirely unfamiliar. It rolled out before him sinuously surrounded on either side by seemingly impenetrable woodlands. Deep within these backwoods, he could periodically hear the pop of hunters’ gunfire and the accompanying baying of their frantic hounds. This aural evidence of the latent carnage resident within made him slightly uneasy. He had heard of hunting accidents before but had always assumed the participants were more at risk than innocent bystanders. Now he was not quite so sure.

Surely, there is a reason the local people advise outsiders to wear blaze orange when out strolling in these woods. Aside from sartorial considerations (which lack validity in these parts), this is probably good advice given most hunters’ propensity to shoot first at anything that moves and ask questions later. These musings rattled around in Alex’s fecund mind as he continued down the road at his leisurely pace.

The denuded forest of January did little to evoke of a sense of warmth to offset the chill morning air. This was the time of year he liked the least. It was a time subsequent to the vivid drama of autumn and preceded the equally dramatic rebirth of the vernal reawakening better known as spring. Surely, winter has a drama of its own to offer but there was little evidence of it in these southern latitudes.

Ironically, the idea of a snow-covered landscape actually held out a measure of hope over this gray sameness. It evoked irony because he usually dreaded the onset of winter in the frigid Northeast where he had spent his youth. Alex’s long exile in California had left him with a certain disdain for extremes of climate. The image of mounds of dirty snow colored his memory of that earlier time. He had never lost his aversion to the bitter cold and slush filled streets that characterized his early life.

Perhaps the urban milieu informed his opinions. The undeniable fact that there was nothing worse than dirty snow was his preeminent thought when contemplating the vagaries of the winter season. Certainly, the idea of the first winter snows brought to his mind romantic images of a quietude that evoked a stillness that belied the depth of chill and the inherent messiness of winter. Still the unremitting rime that embodied the basis of the winter was the crux of his youthful aversion to it, despite more mature refutations to the contrary.

None of this mattered much on this particularly dry and dismally cold day. Only the deepening chill and the equally deepening murk of the ever-encroaching forest seemed to matter to Alex at this particular juncture. He moved on with an ever-increasing and obvious self-assurance to his stride, despite his wariness about his environs. He would be damned if he would allow some feckless mutts disturb his reverie. These walks are what kept him going after recent events.

After succumbing to his stroke and the accompanying side effects, Alex’s main goal was to hang on to some semblance of normalcy whatever the obstacles he may encounter. A little backwoods histrionics was not about to divert him from his appointed rounds (as the Postal Service is so fond of claiming). There was no ice, sleet, or driving snow so what if the air was a little chilled. This was not about to deter him. So on he strode.

Soon he approached the roadway junction; this was his intended turn-about point. He could continue down to the highway intersection but this was enough. His body was already making the case for enough is enough? Besides which he had to retrace his steps, which would prove to be as much as he could handle given his current straits. Slowly Alex came about and commenced the long tramp back.

It would be necessary to work his way back through all that he had encountered, back through the murk and gloom of January, back through the guns, hounds and hunters. Somehow, that didn’t seem as daunting as it had on the way. He was on his way back now and things seemed somehow that much rosier; it was as if spring had come early but he knew that was not the case. Perhaps though, in his mind there was a vernal awakening of another kind. He would have to mull this over. In time, he supposed, the answers would come.

Walkin' On A Country Road

stephen hewitt

Lanexa, United States

  • Artist

Artist's Description

An allegory of mental health issues

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

10% off

for joining the Redbubble mailing list

Receive exclusive deals and awesome artist news and content right to your inbox. Free for your convenience.