peace place

Gravel crunches and spits under the tires as I brake and turn full-circle in the middle of the road, making up my mind. On the way home from the beach I used to stop here, visit yesterday's people on this long-deserted outcropping fenced in on three sides by marsh and on the fourth by the sea.

I’m so glad nobody’s left to mow. It’s prettier this way, fitting, somehow. They are reclaimed, and it is peaceful. Weathered, naked stone faces the waves half-sunken, embraced by meadow. You’re walking on bones, something tells me, and I hesitate. Crunch crunch. But then something else says They sense your beating heart and they sense you, curious.

They are peaceful and not minding me but still ask Why are you here? You don’t know us. We are too long dead for even your great-grandparents to know us.

I press my palm through the grasses to the cool mud underneath, through layers of insects and prickles and wildflowers and through that palm I speak back to them Because you have answers I want.

Ahhh, they say. Then there’s just silence, crashing waves and seagulls, because you can’t get what you want from one dimension to the next. You just can’t. You can only sit cross-legged in front of the gulf, staring at the relentless fog that obscures the other side.


Just now Evan’s door creaked open and he scrambled into bed next to me bleary-eyed, whispering as he does when he needs me most: Hiya nonnie, I cuddle. I wrapped myself around him under thick blankets, cool breeze and a chorus of peeper frogs through the open window, the milky way above our heads as I hummed him back to sleep.

As he breathed in and breathed out the thought came to me One life is one episode in the life of a soul and as I did, a subtle ribbon of light twirled across the black night sky, what I’d call winter’s northern lights if we were north, and if it were winter. Suddenly I could see that it was all alive, breathing in and breathing out. Some just our own flotsam, satellites and jet planes and junk, but other stuff too, stuff not so easily pegged by the language of quantum physics.

I lust so deeply for magic, I swear sometimes I can will it into existence.