Memories from the Ancient Vacation
Memories from the New Vacation
She’s a ghost. I know that. She brushes her fingers along my shoulders and I will look up to find her playing among the trees, pretending to be the wind. She’ll drop a pinecone or a small branch as a reminder. Then, off she goes to the deeper part of the forest where I can’t follow. She laughs. I can’t hear it, but I know she’s laughing.
This spirit of hers doesn’t frighten me. But there are times when the forest is as still as death. It’s upon these moments, in silent life, when I look behind me on the trail and shudder in my aloneness.
She returns, that’s what ghosts do, with her sound, a rustling, a stirring, a theme she buries deep inside me. Its tune reminds me that I’m also a ghost. At times, this makes me sad, to know I’m as invisible as her, but it’s her way of empowering me, to haunt. I can’t help but to be…a ghost.
I can tell you this one thing. It’s the only thing I really, really know. If you listen, you will also know you’re a ghost. Even when you’re in the middle of nowhere, look up, and see a jet leaving contrails high in the sky, above the wilderness, without making a sound.
I wish I could dance in this wind. But its heat wilts me, keeps a dull, slight fever about my skin. I feel it drags everything into a blur, the flora, the fauna, the restless water, the dry grass. There’s so many separate lawns being watered in the midst of this drought.
I await the first flirt of coolness, a gift from the ocean, when the wind tugs at my hand and compassion soothes the baked streets, the overdone frenzy.
Ramona’s whisper requites us to ourselves—our fires extinguished, our thirst sated.
That voice, a pact between mountain and moisture, is a quiet call to us
The stumbling pilgrims, forest wanderers, wishful sages who suffer from acute chatter.
Its language—slow—near wordless, near nothing, paints upon the brow reminders…
Of lost talk of the ancient shape of myths, wrapped around delicate, heavy truths,
Source of our combined story.
We arrive with city hands, parched
To drink for the first time—again.