Thursday, May 9, 2013

The old road

Off the modern highway can be found a hint of what once was. I had walked an hour into the noonday sun to the intersection of Old Dixie Highway and the road to Aripeka. The constant drone I have lived next to since mid February had faded in the distance, replaced by birdsong, lizards scurrying away through the grass and one lone cicada in a nearby tree. Aside from the helicopter skirting the coast, earth movers loading trucks down the dusty old Dixie , the sound of a boat beyond the glades, I began to hear the gentle silence of rustling leaves. Aripeka once had the regions only post office, was once the hub of communication with the world in the days when this was the only road through these parts; before the highway I walked from even existed. A tiny post office , a small roadside store. A blink of an eye, easy does it, over the bridge, and you would miss seeing it had you been in a car. What once was a daily destination would soon be forgotten, like the indigenous tribe it is named after, if not for the historical marker by the chicken coop sized postal shack alongside the road. I walked on for miles until the hum of the five-lane replaced the rustling grasses of the glades. The smell of salt air replaced by odor from the sewage treatment facility. The "old road" looped to the rear of the modern shopping mall, to the miles of sidewalk back to the old plaza just in time to give Nice (the dog) a pill. Four hours well spent, a memory I'll not soon forget.

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