In the twelfth mile, well after we were lost and found ourselves again, we sit on a fallen log to think about what it meant to get so seriously lost.
The scent of damp sweet grass hangs, the heavy heads of wild iris nod in the limp breeze.
It’s important to know your limits, I say, Some people never learn them, you say.
Time passes the leaves sing like water the birds rush in the trees.
Sometimes, I say, embarrassed, I wake up and watch the tendons in the back of my hands as I move my fingers and I say to myself I am a delicate machine.
You practice the motion and smile.
The knowing and sharing of a too honest secret is a miracle. My good legs that carried me well past the long hike I’d intended- a miracle to tie the body to the soul.
“I would like to be a bridge” I announce to my students. They know me and understand. Our delicate minds clasped, spanning the divide a miracle of growth and recognition.
I tell you that God has spoken to me through the new leaves of a once dead houseplant- I have been reminded that not all growth happens on the surface, my love and tender care has not been wasted. It worked!
God has asked me for my patience, I say. You don’t laugh, as you might, but tell me God speaks when we need to hear Him.
Here is Sleep, stretched on my right side, exuding warmth and calm so close to my chilled skin.
He is distant despite the proximity promised by the hands of clock and length of lingering darkness.
The lights from the street and solitary passing car slip between slightly parted blinds into long stripes across far white wall, chasing shadows to restful corners; their claws receded. No longer do they unfold toward me in the lonely dim.
In spite of the vow of peaceful nightfall, I am awake with stale breath held in chest, deconstructing a nightmare into a coiled grey sweater left on floor. The simplest of terrors paralyze, leaving me vulnerable prey to the night.
It is impossible to be lucid in the muck of these early hours, when the tiny tragedies of the ever turning world imprint dreams, causing Sleep to lack the relief he once promised.
Indifferent to my mistrust, Sleep breathes, soft and rhythmic, a silentious invitation to join him, the only sound breaking the night.