Astral Nomads

One man, one woman, one rabbit......traveling with the stars.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Incident at Cunningham Falls

This time of year, the drive to Cunningham Falls on Maryland
State Road 15 climbs and twists through the the autumnal reds
and yellows until an unexpected summit is reached and a quick
descent follows with more twisty turns that are forewarned with
flashing yellow lights and a diamond sign with a squiggly black
arrow. Just past the summit there's an immediate turn into a
parking lot which is marked with a blue handicap sign. I pulled
in thinking it was the general parking to the falls only to be bemused
that all of the parking spots were designated as handicapped. It
was only later, while sitting on a rock beside the regular boardwalk
below the falls that I realized that the second boardwalk across the
rocky stream must have originated at the handicap only parking lot.
That realization came slowly as I observed a family group consisting
of a gangly boy of about ten and a soccer mom pushing a large three
wheeled blue stroller. The woman, whose pale face was pleasantly
rodential, sat on a bench and leaned her head back on the fencing at
the end of the boardwalk with quiet resignation while her son silently
hopped and navigated through the rocky stream-side ground. It was
then that I noticed her special child. I could only see his face through the
slats of the boardwalk face but what a beautiful blue-eyed face he had
and he seemed so content to stare at the high cirrus clouds that were visible
in the leafy gaps of the high red and yellow trees. I wanted so much
to be able to lay my hand on that boy's head and somehow allow him
to rise up from that stroller and run among the rocks laughing with his brother.
He just stared at the sky and yawned contentedly. Eventually his mother
rose, reversed the stroller and the family disappeared down the boardwalk
into the foilage. Eventually, I too rose and backtracked the trail to the parking lot.



  1. which definition did you mean?: Quaker-colored, acier, afraid, ashen, ashy, bashful, brown, brownish, canescent, chicken, chickenhearted, cinereous, cinerous, colorless, confused, conscious, coward, cowardly, cowed, cowering, coy, dapple, dapple-gray, dappled, dappled-gray, daunted, demure, diffident, dingy, dismal, dismayed, dove-colored, dove-gray, drab, dreary, dull, dun, dusty, echoless, fainthearted, fearful, fearing, fearsome, flat, funking, funky, glaucescent, glaucous, goosy, gray, gray-black, gray-brown, gray-colored, gray-drab, gray-green, gray-spotted, gray-toned, gray-white, grayed, grayish, grey, griseous, grizzle, grizzled, grizzly, henhearted, hush as death, hushed, in fear, inarticulate, inaudible, intimidated, iron-gray, jumpy, lead-gray, leaden, lily-livered, livid, milk-livered, milksoppish, milksoppy, mouse-colored, mouse-gray, mouselike, mousey, nervous, noiseless, overtimid, overtimorous, panic-prone, panicky, pearl, pearl-gray, pearly, pigeonhearted, plain, quiescent, quiet, rabbity, ratty, rodent, rodential, sad, scary, self-conscious, self-effacing, shaky, shamefaced, shamefast, shivery, shrinking, shy, silent, silver, silver-gray, silvered, silvery, sissified, sissy, skittery, skittish, slate-colored, slaty, smoke-gray, smoky, sober, soft, somber, soundless, stammering, startlish, steel-gray, steely, still, still as death, stilly, stone-colored, subaudible, taupe, timid, timorous, trembling, tremulous, trepidant, trigger-happy, unarticulated, unhearable, unmanly, unmanned, unpronounced, unsounded, unuttered, unvocalized, unvoiced, verminous, weak, weak-kneed, weakhearted, whist, white-livered, yellow

  2. @timothy: answer D, all of the above.

  3. Gerry, thank you for this. I love knowing that somewhere in a Maryland wood, a boy spent a short space of his life watching cirrus clouds above the yellow. This is the kind of thing that makes me cry for its beauty, and it nudges me to write.

  4. This is a beautiful post.... very touching ! Thanks.