Monday, July 29, 2013

A Burdened Sense of Peace

Blue skies overhead with sun that warms my hair while the wind tosses it wildly about my face.  All I can smell is the fresh pungent fragrance of newly mowed grass mixed with baking green leaves from the maples that straddle the path I am walking.  To the left of me a swelling stream rushes over rocks where it used to only babble, creating tiny rapids that churn the river bed turning the water a murky brown-red.  As I lose myself to the rhythm of the crunching from my feet snapping the twigs, gravel and sand on the path, I can hear the cicada singing for a mate as the temperature continues to climb.
The thistles have already flowered and now the green thorny head fades to brown so it's seed may scatter through the field to germinate and flower again before the summer comes to an end.  The sparrows chatter at a starling overhead, likely protecting a nest of young hidden in the trees. STOP! Did I just hear something sssssssssssslither through the long dry grass up to my right? I can only start my jaunt back up once my heart beat has slowed back to it's normal pace and my veins in my neck slow from their current throb.

Now I slip down the clay, crumbling bank toward the edge of the stream so that I can dip my feet in and cool my skin in the tepid water. The sun splits into a million tiny replicas that bounce and reflect off the waves of the stream, so bright I shield my eyes. I look up just in time to see two dragonflies weave in and around one another, each out pacing the other, dipping and diving until they zip from my sight.  As I peer through the water, down at my toes, I see that a dozen minnows have surrounded my feet, possibly to inspect this foreign intrusion. I wiggle my toes to see them scatter in every direction as the mossy stream bottom whirls and circles in particles that cloud my feet from view.

I experience such clarity of mind as I stride deeper into the forest and further from the drone of the city.  It is in these moments, with nature, when I feel closest to life and what alive means. Moments when I am also the most in tune with my heart and it's grief.  Perhaps it should not even be called grief.  It is in these quiet minutes, that I feel the swell of my heart as I fill with such tremendous love for Flynn; for his tiny moment that weighed on our lives forevermore. It seems natural to drift to thoughts of him. A burdened sense of peace, not freedom, but free of torment. This is the place that wishes intertwine with daydreams.  Where I see his feet moving through the grass and his wavy head of hair curling in rebellion with the breeze.  I picture him laughing and running and I long to imagine him with his brothers, filling in the whole that aches on harder days.  Lost in this daydream I can hear him call after me, "Momma" in the singsong voice of a child pleading for me to witness his latest feat of speed or strength or courage.  I feel the muscles in my chest begin to engage with a dull, deep thumping and I know that it is time to rouse myself to the present so that I may stay with the lightheartedness of my dream.  I hear the crunching of the path beneath my feet and I continue on.

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