What he was really doing, though, as he stamped around the pines and hardwoods and over the dead leaves, was putting his footprint on our little patch of the planet. He was pacing it off, working his land, establishing mastery over it. Running his eyes along the invisible lines of our sovereign borders, marked by fluttering orange plastic strips on trees.
As he labored in the fading light, an idea was settling like a shadow on his imagination. Where to mark a path? Where to site a secret bench? Later, over days and months, a picture would unfold: a blueprint, a dream of things built in private realms.