Around a month ago I bought a volume of Walt Whitman's poetry. I had started reading a little of his work in the library, and I instantly fell in love. When I started reading at home though, I found it was entirely too noisy for me to enjoy it. By the way, if you hold anything sacred in life, go somewhere quiet to read Whitman's poetry. If you do not, it is just a series of slightly frustrating poems (as I found out the hard way). It was a little cold outside, but I decided to ride my bike to my favorite place in the world anyway.
I do not want to say where this preferred place is, because that may ruin it, but I can describe it for you. The east side is walled in by pine trees that completely hide the view on the other side of them. On the west side there is a thick wood, with tall oak trees and thick brush underneath. On the south, there is something of a field, overgrown with tall prairie grasses and flowers. On the north there is another field, but this one plowed and mostly hidden by a fence and more evergreens. In the middle there are three or four trees that would be good to climb if I was just a little bit taller. That day, the leaves had made a thick carpet of bright red over the dying grass, and the wind delicately played with them as it blasted through the trees in the west and about my face and body.
I had just come to the poem "When Last in the Dooryard Lilacs Bloomed" and decided to read it aloud. At first I stumbled through it, tripping over words and those odd poetic phrases. After the first page or so, the feeling of the poetry grabbed hold of me, and pulled me into the wind and the cold and the song about death. If I continued to stutter I do not remember it. My chest was tight with rapture, and the setting sun made the leaves still on the trees appear to burn.
Maybe you think I am strange for this, but that hour or so was one of the best of my life.