Friday, September 5, 2008

Pondering While Walking the Cove by Kat Magendie

The mist is thick, and I am walking in the clouds, breathing in a part of the sky. As a child I'd always wondered what it was like to walk on a cloud...would I fall through it? Would it be like cotton? Would it be fluffy and nice? Now, I am walking in the cloud, and the cloud settles on my clothes, on my skin, and it is cool and mysterious. I breathe more in, and Cloud fills my lungs.

We pass Old Tree. Old Tree's gnarled trunk has seen and heard and felt ages upon ages on our mountain. I hurry to Old Tree and press my palm against its rough, and then press my cheek to let it tattoo itself upon me. I whisper, "Old Tree, what have you seen? What have you heard and felt? Give up your secrets;" and I feel the vibration of its stories, the stories of its life, and the stories of all the mountain ways. I rub the scarred bark and hope Old Tree is never cut down by one who does not appreciate. When I turn to leave Old Tree, its branches rub together in its good bye so long see you soon.

It is quiet, even Creek is muffled by the distance as I walk. The only sound is the noise in my head, loud louder it is as a bratty child wanting my attention. I look inward, and listen to the chaos, and when I at last lift my head, I have gone many steps without seeing what my mountains offers. Sometimes, there is the sound of our inward self, whining and yapping and calling to us. I do not want this sound so I tell it to shut up, go away. It does, thank you.

There is scat on the road - full of seeds, and I stop to look at it, wondering what critter has been squatting there. Just a few steps farther, and there is a tiny gray body lying in the road - the second one I've seen since the day before. Life can be cruel and life can be short, but little tiny gray critter never thought about that; he just lived. I imagine in the last of its life, Gray Critter didn't think, "Why me? This isn't fair!" Perhaps he only thought of survival, and when survival didn't appear, he was then limp, lifeless, gone. If another gray critter expected him home, there would be no "Why me? Why us? It isn't fair..." there would be the next thing to do. There would be the life to keep living. I don’t know whether to be grateful that someone expects me home and would say, “Why me? Why us? It isn’t fair? Bring her back!” Or to be grateful I may be more like Gray Critter, not thinking, not wondering, “Why me?” This comforts me, in its own strange way.


Barbara Quinn said...

Pondering those unponderables makes the ole head ache. Love the arc of this...I enjoyed the walk in the woods with you, coming out of the clouds smack into the scat of reality and loss.

Patresa Hartman said...

awesome awesome. i love how you name a thing with what it is. respect, i believe.

and i love that you told your whining, yapping brain to shut up. and that it did.

and i also really love the contemplation about Gray Critter's lack of contemplation.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Great Kat writing once again.

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