I Followed Her

 

 

I’m new to these parts so when I first see her along the lake, I keep my distance.

Time takes on new meaning the moment you feel life change.

After a few more bends, past the fragrance of algal pools and submerged beechwood, I make my approach.

I’m gradual and polite, respectful of her own morning ritual, until she senses my wake, takes in my scent, accepts me as I am–a non-threatening suitor of nature.

She allows me to close in from behind and I inch my way closer into her slipstream.

At last we are neck and neck, then alternating the lead.

We glide, we stretch, we continue to meander through still wind on a lake of glass and not a soul surrounds us.

A breeze seems to mean our surroundings agree.

We ruffle in a gentle wind and I know it’s true. There’s a warming inside. There’s that thud of my heart.

Now she accepts me.

Now we travel as one along the outskirts.

Alongside fronds and lily. We zag through mist.

By striders.

By mosquito.

A dragonfly dives down, the only soul it seems, more spontaneous than we. Now it rides a thermal. Now it swoops down to engulf a trio of gnats. It rolls and spins, the daredevil it is and we want to laugh.

If we could.

A languid summer sun attempts a showing, first as an eastern orb fraying the edge of haze, but the cloud cover wins in their own kind of race, that kind so far and distant, alien to anything we might care about down here on this surface, on what should be a mundane morning cruise but is everything but.

You can feel it inside.

Now we are one.

No one knows how long it will last.

Maybe just for now.

Maybe longer.

But forever—we’ll have this morning.

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