I feel like I could have reached out my hand today, fallen into the sky, and lifted into the galaxies surrounding the Earth. I took a former student to the mountains today. We walked across the crest of a summit and watched clouds skitter across the sky.
I love these days. When the cold of winter gasps up along the mountain ridges and the trees have shed their leaves. When we were driving along Skyline Drive, a deer stepped off the road, looked at us, and bounded into the undergrowth. The dark silk of her coat blurred into the forest shadows; she disappeared, and I remembered to breathe.
Today was a day of conversations and silence. One moment, we are talking about honey combs and bee hives and their metaphoric meaning. Another moment and we are sitting in companionable quiet, not needing to fill the void with useless conversation about nothing.
This is what friendship can be like. Not having to say words because we are uncomfortable with silence.
Leia was our companion, curled up in the backseat with her head draped over the edge, lightly snoring. Or, she would lean forward and give each of us a little static shock from the built up static electricity thanks to cold weather and fuzzy blankets.
This was the texture of my day. Watching the heavy shadows from the clouds freckling the valley. Putting my hand over the white AT blazes and dreaming about the last time I had walked along the furrowed lines in the earth. I would that I could retire. Live out my days writing and hiking, standing on the side of a mountain and dreaming about the next season and my participation within it.
I would collapse these moments into an origami crane, set it into the wind and watch it fly. I would write them on my body with needles that leave no wounds and bear ink that leaves no trace but surges through my fingers and into my pages.
I found my contentment in the meadows at a mountain’s summit, standing beside a tree shorn of its leaves and letting the wind sieve through its branches. I would have built myself a small rock shelter there and whistled through the winter months, dreaming of snow and sunshine and the peace of the world seeping through my veins.
These are my moments when discontentment and frustrations and the spinning voices of my doubts silence and I am replete within myself. I stop questioning and just live in these sacred moments where my biggest concern is the rock hidden beneath the leaves.
I live purely. Without fear of the world and the judgment for my inability to fit into the niches and creches I am supposed to fill.
I come home. Find my way into the arch of my family’s love. And shake the mountain winds out of my hair.