SWORDFERN
Rooted, I used to think.

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Friday, Nov. 23, 2018 @ 12:38 pm
Joffre



I wait for Chris in the early pre-dawn morning. I stare up at a planet on the horizon. The air is cold, damp, and smells of cedar.

He arrives right on time. I haul my gear towards the trunk of his car. He unfolds himself from the driver's seat and moves towards the trunk. I fall into a half hug, my pack slung over my shoulders. The moment I am near him, I feel happy and full.

He drives us up into the mountains, the sun slowly rising in dramatic burnished hues. He drives slowly, and we savour the symphony of light crashing against the rugged snow-covered mountains. I stare at the mountains, with him beside me, and I try to burn the feeling into my soul. Infinite happiness. Him beside me and the glory of universe splayed out before us.

Nearly three hours goes by in an instant. We are at the trail head gearing up. The air is bitterly cold, the sun not yet arrived in the deep mountain valley. Old snow on the ground, and the cold travels into my body. I add layers, pull my homemade toque low over my ears, the giant yellow pompom quivering in the wind.

A car pulls up beside us. A group gets out and, similar to us, starts piling on their layers. One guy looks at us. He perks up and says, "Hi, Chris!" I am introduced as a friend. I wonder what they assume. Our easy nature with each other, the natural fit of our two beings.

We hike up the icy trail, and the sun illuminates the peaks around us.

It's an easy hike. His legs are long, and my pace is trained to keep up with tall men. Sweat trickles down my back; my breathing is a strong and steady rhythm.

We reach the uppermost lake as the sun is breaking over the peaks. Eerie echoing pops, like sonar, bounce around us in the rocky cirque. We sit close together on rocks beside the frozen lake. He pours me tea. We sit there for as long as we can, until we are too cold to remain still.

Hiking down. The trail busy now, so different from the privacy we experienced on our early ascent. One of my traction aids slips from my boot. He retrieves it triumphantly after a brief search. The same thing happens to him. I pick it up, and hold it out for him. He approaches me and suddenly is slipping out of control towards me. The narrow trail, slick with ice. My hand hangs uselessly in front of me, the rubbery device dangling impotently. He catches himself just in time, the full lenght of his body inches from mine. I feel his energy field and mine merging. He's right there, so close, taking the traction aid from my hand. I've stopped breathing. And then we move on. Is it only me who feels these moments?

We drive home in the setting sun. The entire day together, talking and laughing. I don't know how the day has disappeared without a moment of silence.

We near the river where the mountains meet the sea. He glances at me, "Do you want to go see the eagles?"

We drive out to the river, park, and climb up on the dyke. The sun low, and golden light bathes the landscape. Four bald eagles roost in the trees on the far side of the river. A seal plays in the river rapids, surfacing with salmon gripped in its muzzle. Gulls hover for scraps.

Finally we are quiet with each other. Standing on the dyke, a wind biting against our faces, watching this glorious display of nature. My heart is brimming. I'm afraid that it will explode from my chest, send out a shimmering spray of champagne coloured stars.

I want to hold this moment forever. Everything that I ever wanted come to me.

The empty parts inside of me are finally full.


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