Cookie's Bliss


DirtPathI was wrong about there not being a way for kids in our neighborhood to walk to Lee Elementary. And I was wrong about having explored all interconnecting paths between neighborhoods.

The other day I saw a woman and a young girl step into the mowed field I use to cross into the neighborhood north and west of our house. Today, I decided to walk up the west side of the field and look for the path.

The path was unmistakable as was the feeling that rushed over me when I stepped onto it. It was pure bliss. I was nervous and excited and filled with a feeling of familiarity all at the same time. For a few moments, I thought I might cry. I felt like galloping ahead and held back, wondering who might be living back in these unpaved hinterlands.

As I found my way to the school through trial and error, I thought about what it was about this wild, unpaved place that made me bliss out. And here’s what I came up with: this was a place people walked, without sanction, without rules.

This was the path used by contraries. It reminded me of the paths on Little Corn Island, an island of anarchists who had decided to resist the car culture and block all attempts at bringing in an airstrip, automobiles and motorcycles.

As I walked I dreamed about a world accessible by pedestrians, people walking from here to there along unpaved paths.

By Camille Armantrout

Camille lives with her soul mate Bob in the back woods of central North Carolina where she hikes, gardens, cooks, and writes.