no words, just pictures…that is all we need late in the summer sun. no expressions, just a moment that lingers. the icy gel of white-tipped waves in a basin planned by engineers…i turn away from the dam, the unnatural spillway, and watch the waves. for mystery and happiness is so much better than numbers and drawings…
He asked me if i was taking pictures of the backpack trail…
“Yes,” i said, scanning the map.
He studied something inside the posting board…where maps, rules and regulations, and various other government printed fodder suffocated, unable to breathe the moderate breeze skipping across the dock parking lot.
“I was looking for a trail map,” I admitted, though not in chronological, nor priority, order.
“You could say that.”
Quickly in the car, quickly down the drive, and out again to a table- picnic table- sitting at the edge of the lake. No trail here. No signs here. Only the feel of something greater…pulling at the tides of my heart. I sat. Alone with the sound of the waves, the wind, and a pounding in my head..
As when spring arrives suddenly, so the hardwoods faded across the water. The chill would come, and fires at this side would light the night with warmth. But none would ever be this warm again.
Looking behind me, my inquisitor saddled up like a pack animal, herding with four or five others, as they made their way for the far parking lot edge where the backpack trail resumed northward toward the lake’s end. They filed into the thicket, but like a run on sentence.
They vanished, just as a boat outfitted with senior citizens veered south, entering my camera view…
and like college students out for a weekend party, they squealed and exclaimed in the unintelligible language only a suddenly-going-senile crowd might understand.
timelessness washed over the shore, and over me, and I bathed in it, washed in it, and dried off in the wind. memory etched in my soul, it was time to move on. time to get back to work. more time to pursue the sweat of your brow, longing for another moment of timelessness, on the edge of something greater.
where men worked tired hours
weight of the years digging
shovels bigger than city houses
only the dust of history remains.
where lunchboxes sat in the windy sun,
a grey soil remains,
a mineral face.
it whistles like a piper’s tune-
that wind from nowhere
where tails ride out the breezes
and birds dive into blue holes,
and history changes-