There are things I forgot while living in the city; things I’m only just now remembering after a year and a half in the woods.
The sound the stars make when the moon is dark.
The music of running water along the rocks.
The burnished gold light of noon through the canopy, and the subtle stretch of foxglove toward the sky.
Cotton puffs from seeding fireweed.
The slow lumbering wisdom of the herd passing through territory.
Blossoms on a newly fruiting tree, delighted to check out the wonder of this world.
Stillness when a predator has entered the clearing.
I forgot these things, though I knew them in my childhood in Alaska. It seemed back then that it would be impossible to forget the sound of wolf song, or lichen creep. It seemed impossible I’d be out of synch with the tides, the snoring mountains, or glacial tones. But somehow, I lost touch.
Somewhere in the crush of bodies on the sidewalk, angry car horns, the stink of asphalt and harried, stressed out people on their phones to either side of me at a crowded market…somewhere in that window of decade I forgot to notice the sound of a predator entering the clearing.
I forgot to look up at the full moon and sing back.
I forgot to smell new blossoms.
I forgot to acknowledge wisdom as it lumbered by.
I forgot to wish upon puffs of fireweed cotton.
Somewhere in that decade I learned only the breathless rush of survival. The elbowing jostle to get by, stay above the water. The ceaseless spinning to go nowhere.
Somewhere in that decade I forgot the sound of my own voice, the syllables of my own name. Over time it all became a constant, droning tone-deaf buzz.
But tonight, the stars are singing. Ancient lights from across time space glow in my wooded Skybowl. The river dances, and the scent of damp earthen forest soaks my skin. There is no city glow, no electric noise.
Only the soft crooning of the Elder Glade’s lullabies and promises of sweet dreams.
It’s good to be home.