It must be a full moon, or the oncoming spring, or the loss of a very kind woman that has me dreaming again...of a promise that I once chased through my dreams as a child, awed at as a teen, and foolishly outran as an adult. When you come from a small town with an even smaller mindset, all you can think about when growing up is what else is 'out there', what other, more exciting adventures only other people get to experience. You pray for a break from the mononity of the day...for anything, literally anything...that will cause even a temporary respite from the tick-tock of yet one less day in your life.
I was sheltered as a child, I see that now, living less than a mile from an underused railroad track and an even less used and overgrown baseball diamond. I begged to silent ears for an escape, as I was ready to leave the day my family arrived. But when living there, the sun was always hot in my face and the dusty grit was always on my tongue...and it made me want something better, more civilised, more perfect, and cool, and urbane. I left when I could (and I wonder still if I left too late), and although I have traveled to many places the world over, I realize there is no perfect place where every day is full of new, hushed and unspoken adventures. The landscape of life is what we make of it...whether it be in the USA on a farm, or in a flat in London, or a near a drought-parched riverbank in Australia. I still can hear that once-daily railway blast, mingling with the honeysuckle and the robins of my dreams. I still long for yet another game of catch with my beloved, and departed, father. I still chase the sun, I still taste the grit on my tongue and I realize all of these landmarks shall never leave my soul. Somedays that upsets me, somedays...like today and yesterday and the day to come as I must lose another patient...I want so desperately to just go home to my childhood window and wonder heavenward again. I'm sure now, absolutely positive in fact, that I've missed the signal I should have taken heed to years ago.
My departed friend was from the great empty lands of the Plains as well, and what we lacked in trees as children we more than made up for imagination. I would not meet her until many years later when we had both moved East, in search of some Utopian fantasy we had been sold on television...and both had been shortchanged when we wanted a refund...and I wonder now where, and even if and indeed when, we shall meet again. Years apart in age and experience, we could share little except our playlike childhoods. And tornados and storms...such glorious storms, filled with lightning and broken windows and runaway dogs and mobile homes unprotected from almighty God. When I learned of her death, all I could think of was our stories from the unforgiving Plains, and how we both had searched longingly upward, each for an answer we still had yet to find. I can only hope she has found hers now, and that one day I will indeed find mine.
I found and love this wonderful video not for its majesty of nature, but because I could not escape how it so brilliantly displays what she and I shared from our multi-coloured memories. Violent, grand, indecisive, dark and moody in its storm, light and sunny through its rays. And it's real, the hunter and the hunted simultaneously. What a wonderful thing to see in action as we must welcome the finality of it all...and to think, we'd seen these wonders for years as children. Perhaps that's what one sees when you've accepted, and even find, your dream...a child's innocence, returned.
Rest in peace, dear friend, rest in peace. I love you still.
(The video below has music to it, added by the original photographer and editor, so it might be advisable to turn down the volume, if necessary.) Enjoy and be awed, as I always have been.