March SOLC–Day 27
We took a walk yesterday and the silence hung heavy between us. We left the road, turning onto an unpaved drive, heavily rutted with churned dirt. The drive was some sort of access road, leading into the woods. Thin, endangered icebergs floated within the deeper water-filled ruts. We stepped carefully, unsure where the ground was firm and where it might give way to submerge an unwary foot. We trod on treacherous ground.
In the shady woods, the chilly temperature dropped a bit more. Small patches of snow lingered in the deeper shadows. We walked on, hands stuffed deep in pockets, sniffing from the cold. Separate. Off to my right I saw a flash of white and two deer bounded through far off trees, their white tails flagging. Look! We watched them gracefully leap through scrub and brush until they were out of sight.
As we moved further into the woods our steps shuffled through a carpet of dead oak leaves. A distant rush of water translated into a small, but potent waterfall. Sheets of water poured over a smooth rock face then twisted and turned amidst boulders, following the time-carved path of the stream. The turbulent water pulled at me. I yearned to sit on a cold boulder by its side and lose myself in the hypnotism of falling, rushing water and its dull roar.
We walked for a while longer. Over dead leaves, around ruts. Seeing a glint in the grit at my feet, I stopped and picked up a large, clear piece of mica. I ran my fingers over it. It cleaved smoothly in my hands, splitting into layers. “They used to use mica in stove windows,” he said. “It wouldn’t shatter like glass would from the extreme temperatures.” I looked at my blurred fingers through its thin, opaque sheets. Shadow fingers. Ghost fingers.
Along the road sections of old stone walls were visible through the winter-bare trees, marking land borders. Whose land were we walking on now in this unfamiliar terrain? I didn’t know. I didn’t ask. We kept moving step by step. Mostly silent.