Voices XXIII

 

 

After dinner she left the house through the back door and walked to the alley and past the old apple trees and surveyed the pasture before her and found the old path.  There was only a whisper of the hard-packed dirt left there in the grass. Was she only imagining that she had found it?  No.  As she walked the way before her seemed a faint magnet for her feet, bringing her on, step by step, in just the way she used to walk when her days were lighter, when she herself was as light as the wind.  All the world came into place, more with every step: the one tall pine there among the sumac and scrub oaks; the bed of the creek branch, black against the green meadow.  This was her place; her very spot.

She followed on, through a grove of oaks and to the edge of the hillside where she looked out again as she had before in those days when her dreams floated in the air everywhere and all the time like the songs on the radio.  It was twilight now and the sun was below the ridge to the west, leaving ribbons of scarlet and gold above.  And a breeze came out of the west and brushed her face and hair as if to lift from her all that the years – her ten years from home – had laden her with.

In that moment she remembered all that she once desired and thought again to herself that it could all be worth it.  She would try again.

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