The winds were emphatic here, but still I had to listen close to where they bent the stems of wildflowers, where they swept against the cliffs to make the dust that vaneered my windshield, just to hear what they were saying. The air was cold for spring, the sky a little greyer than I thought it ought to be. Not long before we’d gotten here a torrent rolled across the gorge, so as we walked, bouquets of mist and blades of grass uprooted by our shoes obliged our ankles to endure the déjà vu of fall. Something in the smell of mud and deepest green reminded me of childhood, of things not do familiar and of growing.

Despite the nearby highway, all I heard was wind, unsettled and unnerving, and it made me feel too small to walk against it, so quiet and so momentary. How many seasons had these flowers grown, yellow as the sun I couldn’t see but knew to be behind the clouds somewhere because the flower petals bloomed that day beneath the rain as bright and clear as light itself? How long ago did water from the river sighing miles away engrave the rock to make this canyon here whose edges I’ve been writing at as if to tempt the very breath that moves it, the ancient slip of gallon after gallon over earth to cut it deeper and more beautifully than any human hand. I thought about the scars that map my skin, the wounds I’ve suffered and the marks they leave to make somebody think I’m beautiful as well, the bridges built to span the wounds that wouldn’t close, and I cross them every moment without thought.

I listened to the wind from here, the currents slowly carving at the skins of all this earth, and heard a song more sad and lovely than the glints of light reflected in the tears of every person that I’ve ever lost. For, up here, where bridges span such gaping wounds as these, the ones that split these skins still sing as loud as ever, so I know the ones I’m wounded from still sing somewhere as well.

#rowenacrest #oregon

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