Held upon the earth – forward unknown

I saw two pigeons delight in flight, not believing their good fortune at a warm November wind, flashing white undersides of wings, climbing higher until their grey feathers turned a polished pewter. And then they dove, their wings held wide but a bit too high above their heads–as best they could remember from watching a summer hawk.

yellow leaf1 Wearing my fall colours, deeper now, with some browning at the edges, I am yet suspended in the cooling wind, tethered to this limb by a slim stem.

I am sustained by the most uncertain of forces: a picture of a yellow leaf sent by a friend, an email signed love and light, a stubble barley field, a story of timber wolves, a poet’s knowledge that soil under pavement dreams of grass, knowing an hour of personal time was given back to a working mother, hearing of a man who enjoys his work, remembering the swale of Gypsy’s back as she gallops for the barn with me hanging on to her mane, the bridle loose and free at her neck and her one thought of hay in a stall and my one thought to bend low enough upon that swayback to clear the header on the barn door.

I am held upon this earth by mere memories…a quartz-rock collection that glinted at me from a cinder-block basement window sill. The smell of a wet dog and half-cups of creek water flung from shook fur running down my face. A black-dirt trail with a green-grass mohawk and willow sides, running to who knows where, putting up with my impatience always until the next rise or bend.

To go forward is always to bend into the unknown without the sign that was pleaded for and never came, may never come, despite the plea, as if the plea was enough.

There will be a day in near winter when my fall comes, but until then I will be held aloft by this slender stem and branch, in company with a Blackcap chickadee, her mere-ness achingly like mine, but her song timeless.

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  1. Wow Dad. That was absolutely beautiful. I mean it. Incredible imagery. Youve managed to whisk me back home, soaring across the prairies, freedom incarnate, somehow with all five senses keenly aware of every last detail of the landscape. What a treat for me. What a great way to cap off a frantic week; a desperately needed 5-step-back reminder of the big picture and its subtley stated grandeur, as habitually overlooked as it is pristine. This is absolutely beautifully spoken perspective. Well done.

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