Mystic Writer

Peeking out to see if there is a real world out there...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Sand on stone

Not too long ago I was meandering through the southwest in the four corners area. I had been several days on the road and was in a state of ease. No destination and no timetable, I simply followed the road and when the rare intersection appeared, I chose the path that most appealed.

An enormous inclined patch of slickrock appeared beside the road and a pullout beckoned, and though I drove past it pulled at me and so I eventually turned round and returned.

The day was quiet, the only sounds dry and whispery, the breeze sporadic and restless. The sun was bright, though the warmth was November tepid, and I slowly stripped off my driving clothes and dressed in cream hiking pants and sky blue shirt, then layered on a sweater and jacket. As I was adjusting my backpack, a car drove up and a woman hopped out of the passengers side. Her exit from the car was lithe, and as she strode away I noticed her walk - her legs swung from far above her hip, each step a strong push, the landing foot canted to touch the ground with minimal impact. I had the thought that you would have to walk for a very long time on rough terrain to develop a stride like that, and with that thought, I started walking up the rock myself.

There is a joy in walking on slickrock - the footing is solid, no possibility of slipping. The rock contours in frozen waves, and with incredible tactile joy I swooped down the curves, gathering speed to run up the far side. Higher up, the rock formed ledges, and each giant step upwards opened up vistas - the sense of achievement was delightful.

At the top there was an 80 foot tall headwall of rock, and I followed the base as it ribboned along the plateau, mile after quiet mile. Finally, I arrived at the lip of a deep, deep canyon, and noticing a knob of rock cantilevered out into space, I dropped my backpack, grabbed a water bottle, and climbed to settle cross legged in the wind and sun and sky, and in that place, I simply dissolved into the day.

Some time later I heard a hint of sound, echoed and reflected off the rock. Voice tones, two of them, and as they grew louder I could hear an exchange taking place, pleasant, first a musical lilt, then a low voice, near a growl but affectionate. I listened without trying to understand, enjoying the feelings that floated on their words.

After a bit, when the sounds were joined by the scrape of boots, a tall man emerged from the trees, bent arms and big hands, shoulders bunched with muscle. His face was young, rounded and sunny. He slowed, staring into the canyon, behind, the woman I had seen earlier emerged, immediately looking at me then greeting me with the slightest change of expression. I flowed to my feet, stepping away from the edge and towards her. The man, noticing the motion, turned and walked towards me.

His stride was powerful, each step a stomp and thrust, trusting to raw power to handle any missteps. We came together, and he led the conversation, a gentle voice questioning me of my travels. The woman clarified some of his words, small phrases inserted gently, so easily done that it didn't intrude.

I entertained the thought that she might be his mother as the age difference was quite notable, but watching them I became sure they were lovers - I'll admit to wanting that to be so. Her grace and elegance were palpable, and he was likeable and sweet. I liked the way they meshed, and I enjoyed being a part of them for a while. I carried that glow with me for the rest of that day, and writing about them now, I feel it again.

5 Comments:

  • At 3:34 PM, Blogger PI said…

    Hi! I'm guessing that is not SW U.K. being a tepid November and all.
    Beautiful prose if I may say so.
    Michele says hi also.

     
  • At 4:00 PM, Anonymous Last Girl On Earth - Deni said…

    A very beautiful story. It made me smile to read it. Thank you. Michele sent me over today and I'm so very glad she did. I hope you are having a wonderful holiday weekend!

     
  • At 5:06 PM, Blogger David said…

    well said.
    here from michele

     
  • At 8:08 PM, Blogger kenju said…

    Welcome back to blogland.

     
  • At 6:41 AM, Blogger Bob-kat said…

    That sounds wonderful and free. I love an open road and no timetable. Bliss!

    Michele sent me to say hi :)

     

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