“That’s right,” I said, “I owe you one. In fact I owe both of you. What’s that, Edwin? Let me try to speak louder; I know this is a very long distance call.”
Saying this out loud doesn’t seem at all strange, although previously the whole conversation has been conducted in silence. So thanks, Edwin. Thanks, Nellie. Our talk has gone on for a decade, I think, if you skip my vague memory of getting one of your books given to me long ago by my Dad. You two would have liked each other.
It was the talking stone wall that did it. I sat down in the sun here in back of your house, by the crumbling stone wall, and it whispered “Let me be. I’m good with whatever happens.” But for the birds and the insects and the gentle wind there was dead quiet, and the wall spoke with your voice anyway. In all the photos of you around here, you don’t look like such a trickster.
Not long after, by geologic time anyway, I found myself looking over another stone wall, and on the other side of that wall the earth dropped away for a mile, in dizzying vermilion and jasmine walls of limestone and sandstone. Yeah, I know you went there too. You peered down into the Grand Canyon, wrote just a few lines of your lyrical prose, and moved on, eventually returning here to Trail Wood. If you were leaving some inspiration on the rim for me, it worked. There was a feast of it. I wrote my tail off.
Are you listening, Nellie? One would assume my only connection to you two is through Alison, but I know you both connect with everyone who ventures out on this old farm, as long as their hearts are open to the natural world. I hear you in the song of the white-throated sparrow. I see you in the wide brown eyes of a fawn. That song, Nellie, was enough of a present. But to spend a whole season at one of the seven wonders of the world – are you kidding me?
I never searched out a mentor. It’s funny to have one now in my late 60s, especially a dead one. But your words hover around this writing cabin in a cloud. So thanks, Edwin. Wait; those are just gnats.
Trail Wood #4 – Thanks
©George Jacobi 2017