The sun is warm and the day beautiful. It is early August now, but my memory takes me to its later days, the end of summer. It was the last time I said goodbye to her. It was supposed to be goodbye for the season, but somewhere inside I knew that it would be my last goodbye. I can still smell heena and jasmine, can hear the soft rustle of silk as she walked out the glass doors. Something made me watch her, my eyes lingered on her exquisite profile as she walked past her stream. It was her stream by then. When it was my stream it was wild. The jungle of weeds grew tall, hiding it from the paths. The water rushed around islands of debris and obstacles of rocks and branches. A black crow cawed overhead. But now the cultured greenness of grass sloped down to clear, murmuring, water. A swan arched her neck and flicked her tail.
I know now my leaving was inevitable. She had a world to save and I had a world to explore. I was only a neophyte dreamy and innocent and she, her eyes alone had lived a thousand years. When she knelt that afternoon, her body pressed against his grave I wept. I thought I’d take from her an understanding of loves boundlessness. But now when I think of her I forget those things. Somehow today all I can remember are goodbyes. Her husky laugh that used to send sweet chills through me, I hear it growing fainter. Her eyes so deep that used to swallow mine, I only feel them closing.
I remember a poem I wrote for her of August goodbyes. How ironic. I was even younger than, still full of juicy wonder.
It’s funny how memory leaves its tracks. Like the wind-sculpted rocks of southern Utah, the softness falls away leaving formations grotesque and beautiful. Yet memory is more illusive still. For how I perceive her today, triggered by the smell of August will shift with time and life. Perhaps in ten years I’ll think of her again, and feel only the warmth of her long graceful hands and that smile breaking over me, reminding me it is nothing after all, but the blissful play of consciousness.