Preparing for the long dark.

  • Monday, October 22, 2018
  • 0
Catch a cannon ball now to take me down the line
My bag is sinkin' low and I do believe it's time
To get back to Miss Annie, you know she's the only one
Who sent me here with her regards for everyone

Take a load off, Annie
Take a load for free
Take a load off, Annie
And (and, and) you put the load right on me
(You put the load right on me) 
The Band, The Weight

Notes from the trail:
Preparing for the long dark. Rods of sunlight slanting through the treetops. The leaves green and gold, lit by divine spark, falling to the ground in slow cursive loops. The trees black against the sun, solid and vertical filled with the last of the birds whose song defiant in the face of a setting sun was beautiful and undying.
We stopped in this clearing which was unusual. Not the clearing, that was like a thousand others, pristine and beautiful, it was the stopping that was unusual. We never stop. We talk for sure, always moving stride by stride, our words and feet with rhythmic, matching cadence but this time we stopped. Who made the decision? I believe it was an instinct, just as the creatures know when to start preparing for the long dark by storing food and making burrows and nests. We took communion there, not with bread and wine but with words, the song of birds and peace. Annie all in priestly black, her brown eyes lit by internal fire and intense, Kate in her braids and banded white vest, her smile dimpling her cheeks. And I, the narrator, my glasses fogged up, in a shirt stretched and worn and shuffling my feet in the leaves.
The conversation in rough draft:
Annie: “ We’ve stopped!” Annie hates stopping.
Kate: “ I don’t mind, look at how beautiful it is”
We all look at the effect of a perfect afternoon on the woods, it is astoundingly lovely.
Annie: “ I’m just having a celebrating life moment”
And that is how we spoke with soft voices on a soft wind, facing each other in the womb of nature as Annie told us about a friend who is grieving her husbands death at 48 from Pancreatic cancer. She told us that it could be any one of us. She went on to say that she was taking this moment, in the woods, to be appreciative and remember that She needs to make the most of every day. Kate and I nodded our amens recognising the truth in what she said.
This was not a sad run, thanking them both I told them that my turbulent soul had felt great peace and that I felt somehow different. in fact it was probably one of the most peaceful runs I’ve had. My vow to myself is to hold on to this and remember these conversations and moments because they will sustain me through winter when these woods become cold and skeletal. I am glad that I believe the long dark is followed by resurrection life.

Thrown like a star in my vast sleep
I opened my eyes to take a peek
To find that I was by the sea
Gazing with tranquillity
'Twas then when the Hurdy Gurdy Man
Came singing songs of love
Then when the Hurdy Gurdy Man
Came singing songs of love
(Donovan, Hurdy Gurdy Man)

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