Butterfly Balm

When I awoke from my sleep walk I knew that the danger had passed. And that when you’ve not a thing left to loose, you fear not a thing. It’s taken me years however, to realize that there are few who share my perspective.

There are those who advise me not to walk or ride along the side the of the road, only on a bike path. “It’s too dangerous.” They say. “Aren’t you afraid of walking alone?” A friend once asked. “Afraid of what?” my honest reply.

You may think I’m a danger seeker, an adrenalin junkie. You are largely wrong and slightly right. You see, I’ve already lost all of the things that many may be afraid of losing. Oh, I won’t try to kid you. It wasn’t easy. It was really bad and for a long time. But while I slumbered, fear in and of itself disappeared. Fear of the worst because the things I’d feared most in life had already occurred. Fear of losing my child, my family, my home, every tiny scrap of possession and even my beloved dogs. My future, my present, my life. Yes, I faced the lighted tunnel. The fear of multiple coinciding, life threatening health issues. Fear of anxiety.

Fear of fear.

It all came to pass in a number of bloody battles, an unintended war fought by a weary woman on a war torn battlefield of a life.

As I lived my previously ordinary middle class life of relative caution and calm, the dangers of simply living it held tight their grip. My sleep walk years, a nightmare when merely waking up was fraught with danger; breathing itself, an insurmountable challenge.

They’re a blur to me now, those years. Thankfully, they were even then.

But I am given today.

You may wonder why it is that I so thoroughly enjoy my nature adventures, my attention to subtleties. I want to experience the clarity of it, the crisp, clear rawness of it’s detail. I want to feel the wide-awakeness of it on even the minute level. For in the minute lies the grand. Danger be damned.

Through the sultry sulphorous air I pedal to the Point, to Breakwater Village despite the breathing alert. Breathing I’ve finally mastered. At waters edge I lighten upon the most magnificent butterflies flittering in a butterfly balm bush for souls almost found. My eye strikes upon brilliant speckles of white, yellow, divinely detailed splotches of orange interlaced with intricate strips of dusted coal. Winged daydreams flit across blue, grace green, fly above fuchsia, lace into lavender, touching softly onto castles of vapor.

I am awake. I stay myself under a searing sun. I breathe salve of sweet, salty air as butterfly balm infuses my life like a dream.


November Gold

I don’t remember which day I witnessed all of that gold.
Perhaps when I was small and held her hand.
We’d have walked through the park. Sun bursting yellow-orange, yellow-gold through the leaves as she lifted me onto the green dog statue. Eleanor waited, smiling there. Shy, innocent cheeses for Mom and Dad back home. We watched the brown bears stretch on the far side of their watery fence. Made our way to the garden then to feed the ducks. Remember how fascinated we were when one of them laid a huge white the egg under the oak tree?
Perhaps the trees were alight with gold on that particular day.
I really cannot say.
Or when you were just a boy and your little hand held mine.
Somewhere along the winding way to Sturbridge. Pomfret, cider, dappled light and tree lined streets. You up there, high in the trees tossing the ripe, red apples down, across, hither and yon to Dad and I below.
Further on, the historic village.
‘Rock. Rock. Rock.’
The old man driver called to his Draft horse pulling our wagon. Enormous, obedient equine. His name was truly ‘Rock’. And his coat, a shiny, dappled gray. We three rocking gently, side by side, to an ancient rhythm along an olden, dusty path. In costume, behind the rope, the blacksmith molds and shapes the red hot iron into a horseshoe.
Again, we walk. L.L. Bean red backpack picnic. Tuna, chips, apples galore up on the piney knoll. Was it off in the distance, beyond the lower forty, sun glint leaves sparkling brilliantly?
Was it on that treasured day?
I really cannot say.
My memory wants to sway to days much like today. I might have been in love with this or that or so and so,
but surely in a very large way.
And my chosen target loved me back long before we knew
the words we chose to say.
Together we spun webs. Stories to be told.
Threw them yonder, far and wide. From leaf to leaf, sparkling strands of gold.
Priceless, ageless. Never, ever growing old.
Is it the reminiscence of such days?
I really, truly cannot say.
I don’t remember precisely
but I’ve been with you, right here
witnessing a dazzling light,
exquisite contrast,
all of this gold, my Dear
A golden November
such as the one
we have this odd, even year.

#gold #november #naturegeography #reminisce #leave