dusk in more ways than one
the woods appear fuller in late afternoon, the long shadows stretching into the field, now beaming fresh green with new spring growth. i followed the violet lines out of the shadows and into the light. it is still so cold. the last of the sun warmed through 3 layers but the wind found my ears and chilled my mind. i didn't turn back for a hat, the daylight fading so fast and my time short already. Instead i went down into the creekbed and pressed hard against the bank hiding from the wind. the waterfalls downstream filled the space with white noise and i was temporarilly lost in a fog of anxiety-laced second guessing. the divided heart makes for an unsettled way of being from which there is never any relief. I pretend i am a solider about to begin a 3 year tour, a mission to be gutted out, and then to return to the forest again, better able to take care of it.
trapped in "the stares" an image materializes as pattern in the very spot where my eyes have rested throughout the endless reviews of my choice. the 'coon has left a calling card reminiscent of kindergarten art projects; little hands pressed into wet media, dried and preserved on the muddy creek's shore. i follow them as far as i can until they disappear into the water. I remember last year's coon and wonder if it is the same individual. the one who came for corn at dusk, scattering late-feeding cardinals from the stump. he was fat and fine and still very wary of human interaction. good i thought, stay that way.
the first star blinked on and i pulled myself back up onto the bank. there was barely enough light to check and see if any new ferns had started yet. eyes and hands searched for little spirals; the fiddleheaded jewels of exotic salads. i heard a whiporwhil to the west as three crows passed over me in silence. i straightened and headed in toward an evening before the great brown God of propane.