As the reclining sun made dense fog glow, I walked the path I had walked like a thread through my years. Memories returned a child, in these same feet, on this same path to the bus stop, imitating the red-winged black bird’s melody with her newly-developed whistle.
With my first steps, I realized my pocket computer remained on the nightstand. Breathing the mist that merged land and sky, I didn’t miss a step. I didn’t need it — that taker of presence — I knew this path by heart.
Along the creek, where we made movies with my father’s camcorder, and across the highway that never was this busy, I entered the forest. Owls lived in those trees, but now, only morning birds sang. Their notes brushed past the silver, camphor-scented leaves. Our mother accompanied them from a quarter mile away. Her watery voice now hushed; her soul now quiet.
A narrow trail of sand through sap spikes took me from the forest to the cliff’s edge. The sun, unable to break the clouds, allowed the sky to hug me beside the Pacific’s expanse. Water and heaven: indistinguishable at the horizon. Ferocity made soft.
Nothing between us, no dark window in my palm to disconnect my heart, nothing to take me away. In the salt air, I slowed to enjoy my solitary humanness and my awareness of each now.
My eyes embraced the world.
I stopped for a sparkle. With dew in diamond beads set symmetrically along each finger, a lupin leaf extended its palm to touch the day. Color called out and my eyes drifted to magenta muffin cup petals. Inside, on the yellow puff pillow, a bumble bee dozed.
I reached for my pocket to document the sight, immortalize the memory, grasp and clasp at this now. To share it with my friends and receive heart-eyed emojis — each one a chemical thrill. I shook my head at the addict within and her insistence to go back and fetch the screen.
Instead, with nothing between us, I sat and observed the bee’s bottom rise and fall as it napped in its flower bed. Royal palms stretched to me, asking me to stay beside the ocean, held, as mist strung glittering beads in my hair.