Traveling from one gravestone to the next in tight circles, I pay close attention to the shadows cast by each monument. Discarded cloaks of human spirit stitched to the base, the shadows create a shape-shifting mosaic of dark that blankets the sun-bleached ground. This contrast of light and form, fine and intricate as thought, is a reminder of the eventual end to the long journey which we are all called upon to make. We travel as if blindfolded, spun around and pointed toward a destination that’s nothing more than an impulse weaving through time; a wild rose unfolding petal after petal ever wider until encompassing the entire universe in the beautiful expression of a single human life.
Because it is only for a brief time that we come to realize our belonging to the light of day, many of us yearn for contact with departed loved ones long after they have gone. We miss them, and ache for the intimate moments we shared, sometimes living our days wrapped in the barren, windswept crossing of the shadow side.Yet even hearing one's own voice echo in the stark, lonely landscape of a mountain pass seems to suggest that we are not alone. There is an ancient tranquility in nature. It never falls out of rhythm. When we go out alone and enter its solitude, we return home.
The sharp complaint of a blue jay brings me back to the day, sunny and filled with a flowing unknown. Circling back to the vineyard, I step through a sprinkling of crisp, dry leaves strewn across the dusty road. The soft twitter of songbirds swoops down along the vineyard's edge. So many times as I lay in bed at day's end and reflect on what I have seen that day when I looked out from myself, my gaze has completely missed the shadow side of bud and flower and shoot. I have overlooked the darkness at the root; gentle weave of blackened wings following a flock of grey geese flying northward that gradually leaves my sight.