There’s an onomatopoetic whisper
Of the breeze
At the tops of trees
So I stand here draped in shadow
To listen quietly
Noticing the forest entities of most beauty
Are not the young ones; tall, perfect, symmetrical
But those standing leafless in barren contorted dignity
And those especially with a base of glaring holes,
Or burn marks long since quenched
Reaching higher to spite trauma –
The in-organic fertilizer of wisdom.
The secrets here settle in, grow a thick moss and give life to ferns.
Large smooth stones give voice to rivers.
Birds echo shrilly from somewhere out of sight.
A slither of black scales startles
Then escapes into the thick underbrush
With a fleeting look back, then gone.
But never really gone.
As surely as fallen leaves cushion footsteps
These are not places to forget.
to listen quietly.
Stepping up onto painted rock
Sandstone boulders strewn with ribbons marking time
Yellow gold white and pink
A curved history recording the passage of moments spent
In lines of brilliant color
If you cut open my heart
Or my brain,
Would it look the same?
There’s the scent of horse manure mixing with the taste of these cashews,
In a not totally un-desire-able way.
Reminding me of being thirteen
and stomping down steps to bridle my white pony
Then hopping up bareback to escape in a furious gallop
On a trail to somewhere seemingly far away
I didn’t like cashews back then
How tastes change.
Then running fast over dusty trails
Mind tuned to body tuned to moving as one, with a stubbornly powerful animal
Cutoff jeans stretching to knobby knees
Calves gripping tightly with hands on leather-braided reins, held low.
Then reins in a knot and arms out like wings to the side
Galloping still, hair blowing, sunshine showing
Adrenalin grin growing,
And recognized for maybe the first time.
Wind brushing cheeks and shins scraping branches
The rhythmic pounding of hooves and occasional “crack” of rock
Broken for a moment by flight over that fallen tree
“You can’t stop me!”
I still had yet to even discover the pleasures of the sea.
It’s not much different now of course,
Other than my reaction
To the taste of cashews.
Now bouncing van swiped by branches and mud-splattered windshield
Music blaring beat and melodies on the other side of the road in another world.
Still, escapement smile the same.
And though I’m racing towards the sea,
That green grass field is calling for galloping.
Open sunny field where all is known and shown
Past thoughts exposed to light of day
Then left in the sun to dry out as I swiftly gallop away.
Leaving the effects of their admission for the wind to blow astray.
New opportunities multiplying like blades of grass to gently guide the way.
But time has this life changed.
If I could go back in time
To see my young self galloping away from behind
I’d ride along ‘til she slowed down
Then cautiously step to the ground
Looking up into eyes
Wild and familiarly blue
And remind her that,
“Each day begins anew.
Everything will turn out just fine
And life will exceed every expectation you could ever form in mind.
As bleak as coming moments surely will seem
You have the power to achieve all of your dreams.
So keep pushing through and nevermind.
Believe me, I’ve seen it. The future will be kind.”
We think of time as a river and we’re all on rafts, hopelessly floating downstream. All our best efforts to paddle against the current might show temporary progress but are eventually futile. On we float to old age maybe, death as a certainty. The reunion of our physical selves with the Earth, a cyclical inevitability that the most thoughtful of us accept. We choose a story with which to reason away the fear. Paradise, but only for those who have chosen correctly. (Which, of course we have. Pity the others).
But, we are already One. If only we’d get off the raft and realize the river is shallow. There are signs on the riverbanks warning, “One Way”, “Keep arms and legs inside the raft at all times”, “There are Terrorists lurking in the water”. The signs are everywhere. TVs have been so un-protectedly promiscuous that they aren’t just in your living room anymore. They’re in your car, your phone, the grocery store, the gas station and every message is “work, earn, spend, repeat”. “Quick! Time is running out!”
Silly humans, time isn’t going anywhere. Time has been around since, well, since the beginning of time. It’s me that’s changing (and you too), and time is just the “tick tock” subconscious realization of the transition of one thought into the next. Thoughts give meaning to time, as you must be conscious to notice the feel of its passage – consciousness being the ability to have and consider “thoughts”. Thus time seems to move more quickly as thoughts multiply.
Thoughts are flowing, and even though I know time isn’t going anywhere, I still feel that these 12 days have galloped away too quickly.