There he stands, that peg legged ass of a mule, creaked up in somber stillness, that half dead oak tree of a donkey of ours withering away in the autumn wind with no regard to here nor there. Grayish brown fur blending him into the forest so only slightly out of place so that even his seemingly natural born traits were at best described as simply adequate. I watched the leaves change around him, fall onto his back and land on his face, he’d never move a bit, barely blink sometimes, twice usually, and then continue looking in whatever direction he’d by chance started with that morning.
I watched the leaves rot off and the snow fall over his face, the snow melt and puddle down in between the vernal flowers, and the flowers bake under the hottest summer sun.
At this point in my life, shoes are a rare option. I’ve fashioned a small track of an old tire into a sole and wound it with a ball of hemp or possible twine and made it all twisted up and wrapped appropriately so that I can slide my feet in and out without need of any sort of fastening contraption. They’re good for really mucky days or getting across hot stone without burning your feet, but mostly I just don’t wear shoes at all. The forest and the bottoms of your feet become easily integrated after spending a few months time together.
I remember when I first learned to turn the old goat‘s milk into cheese. Changed our lives drastically, going from strictly vegetables and fish and various berries and mushrooms to finally having something with a nice creamy cheesy flavor. Went quite well with the wine you learned to make for us, well, more for me because the stuff just always put you to sleep but I always enjoyed a good starry clear night with a month’s work of work to get the cheese and half a season’s worth of wine in us. But now it’s just become another daily thing, going out to the goat and working her till she’s come fresh and clean with a day or two’s worth of milk. Getting along with the suggestions of Mr. Louis Pasteur has made it quite interesting trying to make technology out of mother nature.
And Question comes running in, a dead rabbit in his mouth, neck broken but no teeth sunk through, and the good old boy of a dog that he is, drops the thing at my feet. I’m not adverse to cutting the thing up and cooking it for us. It took me a while to be able to do it, but that old mutt kept bringing them home, sometimes for himself, but always for us, so I felt that the meet should be used to our advantage. And rabbit’s fur makes for wonderful patches to old clothes gone through thick forests and the soft furry skin blankets that you’ve sewn together keep us infinitely warm all through the coldest of winter nights. You never eat the rabbit, but you’re happy to use the fur.
Ah Question, though, he’s the good guy, doing all the hunting and fending off of any nasty woodland creatures that might try and come sniffing around our smoldering fire at night. Frees up loads of my time so that I can spend my mornings, afternoons, evenings and nights rolling all around your brain and your body, skipping stones in ponds and swinging from trees and last year I walked around for miles and miles through the forests finding buds from every colorful flower, vine, fern and fungus I could find and dropped them all in the mucky wet soil around our little wooden hut home. The rain had fallen hard for nearly a week and the ground was so moist that the buds and seeds of all of those amazing eye catching plants took a good strong root so that now, here we are sitting in the middle of a real secret garden, our very own Eden, an oasis in the middle of paradise, and nothing is wanted and everything that is needed is provided so that all of our days are filled with these small sort of mundane miracles, so that simple existence, even when it requires toil, is extreme bliss.
The older we get, the more we resemble the forest. The longer we push our hands against the wood the more withered and tanned they become. The more we stand in the light of the sun, the more our skin glows with its colors. My hair has gone sporadic and patchy over my entire body nearly to the point that if I were to perch crowlike in a tree I might be mistaken for a wild animal. And sometimes I do, just for fun.
And your hair has grown very long, flowing yet matted, springing up and down and out and spiraling in all directions, weaving around your leathering bark skin so that when you stand still in a field, butterflies feel completely at ease landing on your fingertips. One day you’ll grow roots and sink back down into the ground and I’ll howl off into the running, chasing, growling night and no one will ever know we were once just mortals, transcendent, evolving back into nature.
But for now I’m just laying my head on your lap and having an afternoon nap.