Thursday, November 26, 2009
A clear early dawn sky, the sun approaching in the southern part of the east, the day seemed as if it would be just like last year. However, by mid-morning the clouds gathered like gray chopped drop biscuits. With the incoming low pressure front, the sky turned and mimicked my emotions the day of Thanksgiving 2008, the day I fell in love, felt abandoned, and stung from a cold back-hand slap from Madame Karma. All at the same time, all at once, all converging at high noon. A year ago, I dropped off a fellow traveler at the beginning of the Natchez Trace with his bicycle and a seventy-five pound external frame backpack. Crouched over the handle bars, the pack heavy on his frame, my friend could not look back. Literally, he could not look back. He was off to pedal past his demons, face his fears of mortality, and create his own identity. An artist, life itself is his medium. My friend was off to prepare his next installation. After watching him pedal up the steep exit and disappear, I went on with my Thanksgiving Day by dining at the table of one of my spiritual advisors with multiple friends sharing stories, laughter, and our vices. A year later, I am attending Thanksgiving dinner with the same beloved friends and making the same pies with everyone's favorite crust. I just don't tell them that an egg and vinegar are the secret components. While running this afternoon, I watched the wind carry an oak leaf falling from a nearby tree. I stopped moving forward and ran in place as the leaf stalled and fell, dropped and spun. Headed for asphalt, the leaf lilted and limped as it finally changed course. I watched the leaf tumble to the side of the road. The leaf's curled points landed on the softness of grass and a lawn. I thought about how my friend on his bike landed not on the asphalt, but Austin, Texas. I wondered if he was like the leaf floating haphazard. Or, I wondered if the leaf was more like my friend, it saw a nice place to land.