Place to Place

I’m imagining what I might experience this morning if I had awakened outside Albuquerque, New Mexico instead of in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas. My recollection of the topography of Albuquerque may be off, so if this description doesn’t make sense in the real world, I’ll chalk it up to poor memory.

A thin thatch of silver and white clouds with the depth and texture of gauze stretches high across the sky. Sunlight shines through them as if shining through a film so translucent as to be nearly transparent. The ghost of the crescent moon, too, peeks through while the brightest stars give way to daylight, one by one, as the day begins. To the east, the western slope of the Sandia Mountains remains in near-darkness, while the sun makes its way over the horizon. To the west the valley floor brightens. Something about the morning seems taut and ready to lunge forward, as if the early morning hours were caught on a piece of metal snagged on the ridge of the mountains; once the temperature warms sufficiently, the mountain will lose its grip and the day will spring on me like a leopard.

Maybe that’s how it would go. But here in the Ouachitas, the day has been creeping along in a thick fog, hiding the sun and moon and stars behind a blanket. Even the wind can’t get through the morass of wet air. The leaves on the trees outside my window remain motionless, as if they had been painted on a canvas. The forest floor, awash in rust colored leaves, pouts. I feel this day moving along in a wave of cooling wax, a lethargic river wanting nothing more than to puddle and end its ceaseless trip to the sea.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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