Patches and Cairns

The drop and winding journey inward- I returned in dust filled rolling valleys to the heat of late June, amongst the empty dorms of the abandoned campus nestled in the Berkshires. Simultaneously I am engaged with the greatest cup of herbal tea, and a bright face in the dim lights of a friend’s kitchen in mid-winter.

As a creature of habit I’ve adorned the walls with memories printed in glass and hung en mass like cave drawings in ink sapped from roots. This bedroom is my ship’s log, marking each island and every rogue wave that stripped the masthead. Its as though I never really left this room- far away no long in high school. Relationships changed and shifted upon tacks that reflect weathered and patched sails stitched below the hairline- scar tissue like replacement hull planks.

The physical markers are everywhere, littered rock cairns on the forest floor winding upward into the foothills. At the center a spinning turntable gathering dust like snow between the needles of the pines. The speakers crackle in the dim lights with the crash of each wave we’ve weathered.

Outside is my costal town. It is the only place I’ve ever called home, and I can hear the microscopic grooves rise and fall like the scenic road that gathers sand in winter storms. The lights from the windows are dim, but burn a rich warmth onto the surface of night and the rippling cold Atlantic water of the harbor and out the channel. My window is one of many- each containing the physical manifestation of a creature of habit. One of many- none alike.

The cold wind will blow outside with tidings of the seasons, but the past is forever gathering moss with grass growing between the cracks. It weathers every storm, collecting stones from the hands of many passing by into the foothills. It overlooks all we’ve left to survey. I gaze out the window that casts a glow onto the ground below-

All we have left to survey.

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