Dan Schaumann

Official site of avid traveller and singer/songwriter, Dan Schaumann. Debut album "A Thousand Days Beneath The Sun" out now on CD and iTunes.

Would You Like To Go For A Walk?

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January 26th, 2010 Posted 7:37 pm

“Would you like to go for a walk?” he dotingly asks on her return home from her late summer afternoon shift at work.

“Not tonight,” she replies. “I’ve got too much to do.”

He sets off without her. Perhaps tomorrow she will join him.

Through the field he wanders, graciously using this time without her by his side to set out a potential path for their future afternoon rendezvous.

He runs his hand through the dry, brown wheat as he progresses down the farmyard track. Ever so slightly sharp, he snaps up a scattering of stalks, pulling at the furry spikelets one by one and watching them blow off into the breeze. He dreams of the upcoming day where he lovingly offers a head of wheat to her, its beautiful homegrown authenticity possessing much more meaning than that of a manufactured gift purchased from a florist.

Nearing the end of the field, he opts for a southerly venture along the fen, stopping briefly to admire the family of swans wading through the wetlands. He is all too aware of the bond between the mother, father and three cygnets trailing closely behind, and one day wishes for a similar scene to grace his own human life. He sends his love to the swans and telepathically requests that they meet him there again tomorrow, in the hope that both he and his girl can spend time together treasuring their beauty.

He cautiously makes his way over the rickety wooden bridge, picking wild blackberries on his descent to the eastern side of the waterway. The sweetness fills the entirety of his mouth as the glory of tomorrow’s blackberry kiss permeates his imagination, now working in a similar vagabond fashion to his roving legs.

Keeping with him a handful of those dark, delightful delicacies, he returns back the way he came, across the rickety bridge, past the family of swans and through the endless wheat fields before arriving back home again, content with today’s discovery and yearning for her to follow in his shadow tomorrow.

“Would you like to go for a walk?” he dotingly asked on her return home from her late summer afternoon shift at work.

“Not tonight,” she replied. “I’m too tired.”

“But honey, I found an incredible path yesterday that I would really like to show you!”

“Sorry. I’m really not in a walking mood.”

Slightly taken aback, he sets off without her. Perhaps tomorrow she will join him.

This time his intuition leads him on an alternate adventure. He ventures down the village street, turning left at the small residential intersection and continuing on until just past the bridge over the moor. Here he finds an intriguing southbound country footpath, leading through a grassy paddock and on into the bushland.

Following the path, he again gauges the suitability of the walk as potential for a lover’s promenade. He notices the dotterels dancing and singing in the trees lining the canal. Inspired by their migration from such a faraway land and their ability to settle into an unfamiliar habitat, he is reminded of his own journey, and he can feel in his bones that she will soon agree to join him on one of his local adventures where he will proudly display this same sense of ease to her.

His shoes leave imprints in the dampness of the ground below, and he realises by the sudden appearance of hoof marks that a small herd of cows have recently paraded along this country trail. He spots them ahead in the distance and slowly creeps toward the three chocolate brown bovines so as not to frighten them, picking a bunch of fresh green grass from the ground along his way. He is aware that she feels unsettled around such animals, and clenches her tightly in his imagination as they draw nearer, comforting her anxiety and promising that they really are gentle creatures. He envisages passing her the grass while she nervously extends her hand towards the three hungry mouths, excitedly giggling as the first of the three curious cows cajoles the fodder from her grasp. She lets out a shriek and pulls back as the scratchy tongue makes contact with her tightly clenched fist, but he is there to catch her and lend a supportive embrace at the conquering of her fear.

Keeping with him the natural scent of the grass-fed heifer, he returns back the way he came, along the hoof-marked trail, past the dancing dotterels and across the moor bridge before arriving back home again, content with today’s discovery and yearning for her to follow in his shadow tomorrow.

“Would you like to go for a walk?” he dotingly asked on her return home from her late summer afternoon shift at work.

“Not tonight,” she replied. “I’m going out with friends.”

“Surely you can find some time before you go out to enjoy some fresh air with me? I’ve found two gorgeous countryside paths that I would really like to show you!”

“Will you please stop pressuring me to walk with you? I just don’t want to, ok? Honestly, I can’t stand this town. I can’t wait to get the hell out of here, I’m sick of seeing the same thing every day, I have no interest in exploring the neighbourhood with you, and if you don’t mind, I’m going to get ready to spend the night with people who I actually want to be with.”

Wide-eyed and distressed, he withdraws and sets off without her.

This time he doesn’t know where he is going. He walks aimlessly and randomly. For miles he continues along a monochrome corridor, only seeing in tunnel-vision, no longer noticing the lush green of the season’s freshly grown leaves, the dominant blue sky making a change from its normally overcast state, the radiant hues of the slowly flowing fen and the intricately crafted crimson archways dotting the canal at regular intervals.

Eventually he stops and sits at the shores of the waterway, resting underneath an apple tree.

How can she not appreciate the beauty of this place? he ponders. What must I do to allow her to see the countryside through my eyes? Why does she not wish to spend time with me in the great outdoors – the one place where you easily feel more free, open and energized than anywhere else? Why does she not wish to spend time with me in general? Does she understand how much it hurts to not have her by my side? Where could she be going tonight that is more enjoyable and serene than this beautiful location by the side of the fen? Why does she not love me anymore?

Amid a thousand thoughts, an apple drops into the water, joining a large number of apples that have already fallen from the tree into the canal.

He studies the rippling effect created by the apple’s sudden penetration of the water. He imagines what it would feel like for the apple to become separated from its mother stalk, breaking away from its source of love, growth and inspiration. He wonders if there is any point to its now-meaningless existence, bobbing lifelessly along with its meaningless siblings. Without its grounding stalk it can no longer walk the journey of life. It has no further purpose to serve.

He realises that without his grounding stalk, he can no longer walk the journey of life either. He has no further purpose to serve.

He rises from his position and ventures into the chilly waters of the fen. Resting alongside the fallen apple, he lowers his head beneath the surface. Under the judgemental eye of the nearby swan, and in one final reflection of his lover’s failure to walk with him, he breathes in deeply.

He will never walk again

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 26th, 2010 at 7:37 pm and is filed under Blog, Short Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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