Creak, Speak

August 5, 2012 § Leave a comment


I left it in between thin, spindly twigs reaching out from an old oak. The oak was sturdy and strong and promised to bear my burden with respect and dignity. The thin twigs actually doing the holding, the carrying, looked as if they could snap in the first winter wind. Would snap. 

I paused. The Earth creaked and I decided if that first winter wind decided to whisk it away, that was its doing, and I’d trust it.

It was one of those days when the Earth gets quiet because the sky is a slate of gray and the sun goes away and the world creaks, unsteady, praying light returns, unsure of its purpose without that guiding star. There was no wind, only that thin chill that always makes me shiver more than necessary. So I stood and shivered, my feet caked in leaves that smelled of dust and times forgotten, my hands deep in worn pockets, and the Earth turned and the trees stood strong, unbending, shooting straight up into the gray, towards a sun not there. And I shivered for no good reason, and my burden, that letter stamped with an old 39 cent stamp I had found in an old scrapbook, written in my curlycue writing in bright blue ink, sat wedged in the cradling arms of an old oak.

I thought of moving on, I thought of walking out of those mysterious quiet woods, finding a highway that suggested places to be and reasons to move at all.

The world was incredibly silent.

And then it creaked again.

I sat down amongst the crushed powder of lifeless leaves and shivered like those same leaves must have done on lonely winter nights. I saw them fluttering, fluttering in the first winter wind, fluttering, shaking, with a gray sky above them, stretching on to nowhere. And then down, down, down, down to destiny, to fate, to be nothing but another leaf.

My letter to no one and everyone and myself and a small child in India slept in its oak. It became nothing and everything, melted into all this. But my writing stood bold and clear. The ink shined while the bark dulled.

And all there was at all was the creaking of the Earth, the suggestion that things were yes, still alive, still able to speak. I closed my eyes and listened to my body shake, the Earth shift. Listened to my words in blue ink speak a message that would never be read, but perhaps could never have been said so clearly into the thin air.

Creak, creak went the Earth.

Speak, speak.


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