Wednesday, September 19, 2012

You Are Like a Hawk

           This chalky road is one I've walked for years now. There's a familiarity that comes along with this air, on this road, in these hills. I feel both young and old as I watch the powdery path unfold before my feet. Being a kid, I recall feeling unbearably hot as observed these hushed valleys. Now that I am here, alone, and with years behind me, they still hold mystery in every dip. I stop. There is a curve in the road ahead, veering to my left. I’ve noticed it before, but have not been enticed to follow it. I think it might be on someone's property, though it is difficult to tell with these unmarked fields and beat-up fences. Besides, I don't mean any harm.
           I just want to see.
           This has often gotten me in trouble - the want to see. Hopping walls, and running through yards that are not my own to snap a photograph is a terrible habit, but the drive I have to discover, create and record is strong. I feel as though to do so is not even within my control.
             I take one last look in each direction and continue up the forbidden bow. And how glad I am. An over-grown trail is where my curiosity has led me. Green green trees arch overhead. I make myself smaller - force my elbows closer, hunch my shoulders, bend my knees. I creep in. I inch in.
              My eyes adjust to the emerald dimness; the sun shining through green leaves illuminates my path. I begin to wonder how long it’s been since another has been here, and I hope no one’s following me. The walk has become increasingly more challenging, as I gently move reaching branches to the side, and become aware of such plants - stinging nettle. Wood tics are no longer a concern as I’ve decided this foresty trudge is worth a check later on.  The green grows thicker. Until I finally reach, what appears to be, an end. A bench sits alone in a grassy clearing. I gaze in all directions. I sit. Then, I lay.
              The pale blue sky contrasts calmly with the fully-grown leaves. Some even beginning to quietly change yellow and fall. This moment is the wild. I see a hawk, up, up, up.  Like me, alone. He’s flying so high my eye can barely make him out. He is above - watching these valleys, as I do. Sometimes I wish I were a bird, but I think I much prefer the view from this bench, on this hill, in the deep green.
              As a watch the hawk soar across the big sky, back-and-forth, back-and-forth, he reminds me of you. We live most of our lives in two different places. Myself, on the ground. You, up, free, and away; I can never quite make out where. And though I miss you, you never feel far because you’re just as much a spirit as you are a physical body.