I like to go on insulator hunts in the spring. With the grass beaten, brown, and barely alive, there’s no better time to find them.
The advent of spring always marks fence-fixing time. The pastures that lay under a cloak of snow over the winter reveal themselves in the spring battered and bruised. Fence posts stick up out of the ground naked and bent. Wire is pulled here, there, and everywhere. Insulators have traveled far from home.
The deer did all this. They run through, slim legs flailing, white tails bobbing; across the hay field, across the lane, across the cow pasture and to the woods. They don’t see the thin line of wire that separates this field from that. They smack into it, the slender fence posts strain for a moment, then something gives. The bright yellow insulator is flung from its post and left to lay on the cold damp ground.
But they don’t usually go far. And I usually find them. Eyes scanning the landscape or an accidental bump in my step, the bright yellow turns up. Clean and fresh, packed with dirt or tangled in grass, they’re all pleasant surprises. I pick them up and find them a post on which to roost.
Insulator hikes are full of pleasant surprises. A bunch of robins in the woods – the official mark of spring’s arrival! A chalk rock laying in the grass – which of course, I must bend down and test out. A tree growing at an interesting angle here, a plant peaking its way out from the soil there. And, of course, lost sheep insulators to bring home.
But then, the world is full of pleasant surprises: A swan swimming in a pond where you’ve never yet seen one. A playful, friendly, hopping-here-and-there cat to visit whilst you wait to pick up your car at the repair shop. An unpleasant dental procedure eluded when you were sure it was coming. A note from a friend. A sale on dark chocolate M & Ms (yum!). Finding a kindred spirit in a person who’s practically your opposite. A new job that you didn’t think you were going to get. A book lying on a table that happens to contain just the words that you needed to hear. A leap of faith that lands you in a happy place – a place that you hadn’t been to in a while.
Yes. With each breath that rises,
I’m finding pleasant surprises.