Smiles


I looked up the path, gazing into evening mists. Wet clouds moved quickly overhead but no rain fell. The last time I saw him here we had been young. I came here by myself, not really expecting, anymore, to try to re-invent the past.

It had passed.

Distant thunder signaled coming rain. Alone, I smiled at the memories. How they had changed this place since I had been here last. All the wildness had been cleared away and everything was pruned and kept like a garden. The fine gravel crunched under my wide, old-lady-style soft shoes. In my right hand was the cane I traveled everywhere with these days: It was raw wood, sanded, and was no more than a simple hikers branch with a rubber skid-tip.

A smell of wet earth rose up from around me and the sudden cold gust raised my, now short and graying, hair. The bent kneed hobble was gracefully covered by a long gown I sewed myself. It billowed in the breeze and I suddenly had to laugh, even while the tears fell, for all that we want and desire, in the end means so little.

The way I stand, if anyone saw me, they would not be immediately aware I had not hiked miles. I have my silly pride. The bus dropped me off just a few feet away from the curb I would return to. In the ear where hearing was left I wore the aid that allowed me to hear the birds sing…

…grateful.

Grateful for the bench draped with Weeping Willows and I perched upon it and closed my eyes and breathed, deeply, yes…that much I can still do.

All the years of hopes and dreams and maybe’s fled away. There was no tomorrow and no yesterday there was only now. The air was heavy with water. Cold.

I love the cold.

I started to sing to myself. I sing for him all the time. I sing when no one can hear me make the ugly noises my voice has become with time.

“Can we be
Together forever?
Stay with me
Never leave my side
I will be your bride…”

But the music changes and my mind wanders. Scenes pass so quickly. Time suspends itself and I hover over ‘now’ and see everything as one thing. Here and there at the same time I know we have always been married. Just not in this world of people.

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