Between #writephoto

Between

between

 

It was a wonderful day, walking along the ancient path, through the beloved hills. Closer to the village, a helpful farmer had left the way clear, in the middle of the fields of colza. The scent of the crop was strong in the cool air. They stopped, looking at each other.

“We will remember this instant of peace,” she said slowly, “when winter is back, and the ground is frozen…”

He smiled, and took her hand. “Not that long ago, I remember climbing that hill in the snow… And it must have been with you!” They laughed.

Sanctuary #writephoto

Sanctuary

sanctuary

 

“This is exactly how I remembered the mausoleum,” she told him, as they crossed the immaculate lawn. “The trees are a lot taller… so many years have passed since our parents used to come here with us kids…”

“I no longer know whose statue it is,” replied her brother, “I just know we liked running around it, pretending that above the steps we were safe from the monsters, down in the woods!”

“You can see, the park is a lot smaller than in our memories! Then, we imagined all sorts of creatures living in the deep jungle, beyond our sanctuary…”

“… And now, now we know that there is no amazing creature, just us, and the birds, perhaps even a few squirrels!”

They smiled at each other, a very old couple revisiting their childhood.

 

Crow #writephoto

Crow

crow

 

We have known each other for a long time. In the garden of the small house, some distance from here, she used to perch in the old tree, just in the corner, and was able to follow my progress in the morning, making coffee, in the kitchen. Often the Crow and I looked at each other, appreciating each other’s company, and the morning peace.

When we moved here she gave me a recommendation for her jackdaw cousins (large birds with streaks of white on their bellies), who inhabit this neighbourhood, and, to tell the truth, most of the city’s parks and streets.

I think she has a beneficial influence on us, and I have concluded she’s in fact a guardian angel. Her speech is always to the point, sober, if not melodious. I trust her judgement, and whenever she’s unhappy, so am I.

In the little garden we had hilarious moments, for example when she, and her sisters, kept a watch on the local heron… For she’s a good fighter, she looks after her partner and family, and don’t bother her neighbours.

I wish all humans were like her.

DSC_0006

 

Photo: the Crow and the Heron © Honoré Dupuis, 2012

Window #writephoto

Window

winter-rose

 

The house is still there, and the roses. How happy we were then, how beautiful was our life, the sun was shining everyday…

This is what I want to remember, now, after all those years. Of course, I’d like to travel back, to erase what went on, to start again. I want to see your face, your smile, your invitation, at the little window. I want to be that other me, the good and wise one, which I became, finally, but then, still young, still loved by you.

But years have passed. I am wise, and old, soon I’ll be gone.

Alone, the house will stand, children will look out of the window, to a fresh morning, inhaling the perfume of red roses.

Thaw #writephoto

Thaw

thaw

 

He remembered: in his youth, this landscape would have been covered with snow, frozen, for several weeks, even, on a colder year, for months. Now, the thaw had come before Christmas. They’d had two snow storms, and, perhaps, it would be all for the winter…

But he knew. Despite all the speeches, the pledges, the politicians’ grand gestures, nothing really had changed. Nature, the Earth, would wait. It had happened before, long ago, before the great flood. It would happen again.

The old man resumed his walk. The late December sun rays were warm on his skin.

Mists #writephoto

Mists

fog

 

The ground was frozen, and as he looked up at the pale disc of their star, recognising the landscape in the mists, inhaling the air, he remembered the desert, the infinite sand, the temples in the dunes. He was back. After all these years. Who would recognise him now? He had been a young man then, almost a boy still, who liked to play in those fields, who enjoyed feeling his growing strength, his supple body… He remembered their departure, the colours of the flags, the hymns, the long line of young men, just like him. He remembered her face, the laughter, the cries, the prayers – the wind in her hair.

He remembered the sand, rivers of blood flowing in the sand, the scorching heat of the day, the frozen nights… So many dreams scattered to the desert winds. Now, he was alone, perhaps the only one to have come back.

But who was left who would recognise this ghost, lost in the mists?

 

Portal #writephoto

Portal

portal

 

It was so easy: he just had to follow the narrow corridor, and, as the dwarf had said, it was there, the portal of ancient stones, and beyond, the warm glow of the vast chimney.

He stopped and looked down at the medieval floor, polished over millennia by the feet of so many pilgrims. Behind him he would be leaving his own time, the overflowing world, the menacing floods. In front of him, he knew was the vast kitchen, the monks in black robes, the penitents. He too would be on his way to the holy city, and they would recognise him for who he was, another brave and tired worshipper from the west, from the cold.

He would sit in front of the burning fire. He would pray. He would have their blessing. He would be invited at the big table, and, after grace, would enjoy the communal hot soup. He would later fall asleep, under a warm blanket, and before dawn, after mass in the small chapel, bare feet, would resume his journey, with thousands of others.

Magic #writephoto

Magic

leafless

 

“So much light,” you said, “and here is the path, just across the little stream, do you remember?”

I do remember, we walked there, many times, you and me, when we were kids, and later. In all seasons, in winter like this, with sunlight filtering through the trees, reflecting on the snow, our hands in mittens, in spring, our hearts feeling the change in the air, the sounds of birds, and in the long summer evenings…

But it’s late autumn I remember most, the late season when the wind gets colder, when dark clouds gather above the forest. And then, that year…

And then winter was with us, so fast, and one late afternoon, just like this, you kissed me. You did, and I was taken aback, perhaps even a little frightened. Your golden hair, your red lips… It was there, near the stream, never had I had felt such fire in my soul…

We are old now. The fire still burns in our hearts. The forest is still there, and the sun, reflected on the snow.  We walk, hand in hand, listening to the light noises of nature falling asleep.

Bleak #writephoto

Bleak

glaston4-258

 

We walk, hand in hand, to the shore,

up to the small promontory, and we see our island:

it is cold today, but we don’t feel it.

Our bare feet slide over the rock,

Your empty eyes turn toward me, my love,

asking me, in silence,

if I am ready to start our voyage.

I smile, my frozen heart reaching yours,

for I know we belong there,

you and me, for ever, under the heavy stone,

below the chapel,

where once, long ago,

they burned us at the stake.

Up ↑