Just outside my window I see something white move across the pond. Is it a fish?
The thrust of a bird's pale wing. Then it’s gone. I don’t believe in ghosts -
and angels, at best, are human bound. A meteorologist might tell me it's only
a cloud reflected on the pond’s surface. But right now, in this New England
forest, so far away from everything I know, I could believe anything in this sacred
place – burial ground for trees, birds, deer, talking tribes who don't need words.
Besides the familiar maple, aspen, and pine, there are hazel, sassafras, sarsaparilla,
even four kinds of birch. After many generations, Pequot still inhabit the land;
so do the descendants of Pilgrims and later generations of slaves brought north.
I'm only here for a few days, a visitor unfamiliar with this autumn paradise, trying
to ponder long held questions – here, where all the things I call “my life” turn
quiet and small in the midst of so much beauty, the green trees revealing scattered
branches of ripening yellows, reds, and shades of orange impossible to name -
all these colors mirrored in the water. Keeping my eye on the pond, I watch
a sudden ripple of wind, causing the same wing-like motion I saw before.
Then the water shimmers, wind and light playing tricks with my mind, as if a hermit
fish is rising up from the depths, or a sister muse submerged far below, now drawn
to these same brilliant hues, cannot help but burst through.