What If Today…We Let Nature Heal?

‘Healing,’ Papa would tell me, ‘is not a science, but the intuitive art of wooing nature.’

~ W.H. Auden

She’s here.

We know. We’ve been waiting.

The storm of cruelty came without warning and threatened to catch up with her unless she could outrun it.

Jumping out of her car she kicked off her shoes and made her way through the outstretched arms of the trees whose leaves tenderly wiped her tears, and apologized too late for unintentional scrapes from the branches that had the hope to caress and to soothe.

Pebbles, fallen sticks, and finally sand absorbed the weight of her burden as she trudged to the familiar spot.

She felt nothing.

Three layers of clothing were soaked through in minutes. She hugged her knees and stared at the horizon, refusing to shiver. The boulder of the ruin sat stalwart and brave with her until she started to feel its roughness under her numbing hands and stood to follow the pull of heart strings that were longing to join the song of the sea.

Taking its cue from the wall where she stood, the waves whispered melodiously over and over again, breaking the hypnotic spell for the first time since she’d arrived.

The barnacles of the jetty rock breathed a collective sigh, welcoming her as she dangled her sandy feet in the only home they’d ever known.  The rock lay bare and open to the water that poured from her hands, and the  trickles sang a complementary cadence with the  water that ebbed into the pool, massaging her legs.

She stood tentatively, seeing the boat moored to a stick, receiving an invitation for another day to go into deeper waters and explore.

Pebbles at her feet,  longing to be the chosen ones, laughed as they soared into the water off shore, sending back ripples of joy and gratitude when the surface broke, swallowing them whole.

Gulls applauded and cheered and occasionally swooped with hopes that there were morsels of food being shared.

Spent and cold she turned to say thank you to the beauty and peace that had welcomed her hours earlier. She’d be back on happier days, she promised.

The moisture and the sand clung to her, witnessing their loyalty and devotion to her as she wiped their evidence from her feet and clothes before starting for home.

The only thunder in existence lay beating softly in her chest.

  • Do you feel healed by nature?

7 thoughts on “What If Today…We Let Nature Heal?

    • It feels good, too. Too bad the tag line for the blog mentions leadership! LOL! I sure do have a knack of backing myself into a corner!

      HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!! Have a good one, Stan!

  1. Mindlessly he grabbed the bottle of Fiji water wedged into the cup holder, shook it, and tossed the empty on the floor of the Chevy. The drive out of Iowa, into Nebraska, and down into Kansas had been quiet. The radio stayed off. He needed to think.

    Now, with the late summer sun making for the Pacific, he starred out onto a long stretch of US 54 that would slice through the pan handle and take him into Texas. Fields, with their giant circles of irrigated crops went unnoticed. He passed through Texhoma and Stratford and then stopped in Dalhart for gas, two Slim Jims, and another bottle of water.

    His spirit had been broken for years. She’d taken that, along with his dog, back in 2007. The note had been cryptic, but the gist was she had moved on. He had thought they were happy.

    The drive had given him time to review. He thought about how his job performance had slipped and that he had embraced drink, more than usual. Pessimism had seeped into his outlook like a dark plague, driving away even his most loyal friends, and now he was alone.

    The warm fading sky was the first thing that stole his attention away from the heavy grey regrets that were holding him pinned at rock bottom. He used to like photography and the Nikon in the back seat was just waiting for its chance.

    He pulled over and stopped. A ’54 Ford, with bright red paint, passed and he wished he’d been ready. It would have made a good shot. He mounted his camera, with the 300 mm 2.8 lens, on the tripod and and walked down the road a bit. It was dry and hot. There was a building off in the distance. The lens brought it to him and he pushed the shutter release. It was a good shot. He took only the one and went back to the car.

    He wondered if it might look good blown up and framed. The camera and tripod got to ride shotgun. When he reached Tucumcari, New Mexico and took 209 south. It was dark. The temperature slipped below 90 and it felt good.

    There wasn’t a schedule, nobody expected him, and he wasn’t even sure where he’d was headed. He wanted warm and dry and he would drive until he felt at home. The radio was on, now, playing songs from his youth. He even sang along to Tiny Dancer.

    The sky was clear, except for the billions of stars. He stopped again and changed lenses. For the next ninety minutes he would look back into time, in thirty second chunks. The light he captured had been travelling for a billion years, give or take, and now it was his. It made him feel small, but also happy. At least, he thought that was what happiness had felt like. It had been a while.

    The diner looked like a mirage at first, but it was real. A police cruiser sat in the lot, along with an RV. Inside a family of four was chatting in the corner. It must of been a good day of vacationing, as the little girl was bubbling with joy at recounting all the things they’d done. It made him smile.

    “What can I get you, hon?”

    In her thirties, still with shades of high school prom queen around the edges, he wondered how she’d gotten there, or how he had, for that matter. “I really don’t know.”

    “I’ll grab you a menu.”

    He watched her walk away. The trooper said, as she passed, “Thanks, Lisa, I’ll be back for pie, later.” She pulled a menu from a stack and returned.

    “Thanks,” he said, opening it up.

    “Something to drink?”

    “How’s the coffee?”

    “Actually, better than you might expect.”

    “Great, I’ll take a cup.”

    Thirty minutes later he had a belly full of steak sandwich, and was starting his third cup of Jo. The family had gone and Lisa was rolling up silverware in napkins. He took a sip, thinking about things he might ask her. She looked up and said, “Where you from?”

    “A place that didn’t have anything left for me.”

    “Starting over, then?”

    “Yep. You lived here long? Where is here, anyway?”

    “When people say, ‘The middle of nowhere’, were due west of there,” she said and winked.

    He was home.

  2. Lisa’s replacement came in for the dinner shift. She grabbed her coat and said goodbye to the cook and head battle-washer for the last time. She inhaled the familiar smells of the diner and exhaled as she exited into the first evening of her new life.

    “It’s Lisa. Right?” John hurried to keep up so as not to lose her.

    “Could you suggest a place to stay for the night?”

    “In an hour there’ll be an empty room at the place I’ve been staying. If you give me a lift, I’ll introduce you to Mrs. B. She takes a bit of getting used to, but she keeps to herself most of the time.”

    “Where are you going?” It was none of his business. He knew that. But he wanted it to be. So he pressed, “Feeling restless?”

    She cracked the window and stared ahead, grinning at private thoughts.

    “Yeah. I guess you could say that.”

    “Small-town life wearing on you? Looking for adventures?”

    “Nah. I just miss the ocean.”

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