In all the woods that day I was
the only living thing
fretful, exhausted, or unsure.
Giant fir and spruce and cedar trees
that had stood their ground
three hundred years
stretched in sunlight calmly
unimpressed by whatever
it was that held me
hunched and tense above the stream,
biting my nails, calculating all
Nor did the water pause
to reflect or enter into
It found its way
over and around a crowd
of rocks in easy flourishes,
in laughing evasions and
shifts in direction.
Nothing could slow it down for long.
It even made a little song
out of all the things
that got in its way,
a music against the hard edges
of whatever might interrupt its going.
I love that last line. I’m trying to make music with hard edges, too.
For dinner tonight we indulged in my sentimentality and went to The Red Grape, the place where all of this began. Where, on our very first date we talked so long they started to put the chairs up all around us. The Red Grape, on First St West in Sonoma, a local’s spot for casual pizza and pasta, just down the very same street where we found our first home together.
Up Overlook Trail just outside of town on First St West, Sonoma, this May day feels like summer. A week ago the trail was muddy, now the red dust rises in puffs and the light in the meadow wavers in the sun. Seed heads are turning brown. I see a pair of titmice, an orange-bellied snake, and a dozen lizards who race down the trail then freeze, testing their camouflage. The Manzanita vibrates with cicadas, but the creaking buzz stops when I walk by. They’re testing their instruments, sliding their bows against un-tuned violins, too shy to keep up the song if there’s an audience.That’s how a writing project feels after so much time – stiff, squeaking, testing the same old words again, again, again.