I wake up early
even though it's Sunday,
and I'm at my parents house, and in my own
, and they've already left for the day.
It's probably the way the sun comes in and hits
me across the legs
, the way the room is still
full of night chill
but I'm cozy under heavy
comforters, the way I can stretch and turn over
and stretch again.
I pad to the bathroom, take a long shower
under pounding water, God, I've missed this
shower, steaming cleansing streaming water.
On my face, my back, my hair; lather, rinse,
repeat; lather, rinse, repeat. A towel, (two to
be precise), warm from the radiator and clothes,
clean from the dryer.
Breakfast, rustle something up in
my mother's kitchen. I open the verticals
and let the yellow sun pour in, the back porch
and trees all brilliant with autumn. T'is warm,
a coffee, eggs, toast. Coming home always makes
me feel like an old-fashioned breakfast. The
house creaks as I proceed to open every shade in
the house, windows and blinds letting in both gold
I have the car, I'm going to go somewhere,
no way I'm staying inside on a glorious October
day, crisp and clear and warm in the sunlight and
chilled in the shade, blue and sky and brightness.
Drive a little aimlessly, find myself at one of the
state parks nearby, empty at 10:00 a.m. in Autumn.
I'm not dressed for this, climbing; in fact, I'm
not really dressed for any outdoor activities, I only
have a thin sweater and the wrong shoes but the
rocks! and trees! and the air and
the way the stream moves swift and clear near the
hiking trail and oh! I'm off and moving.
I've climbed this trail once before, summers ago, with
my brothers. It's less recognizable with leaves all
over, when I get to the halfway mark I am breathing
deep and heavy, filling my lungs. I stand on the
rocky outcrop and take in the sight of my town, city,
county spread out beneath me. Moments, really, then I
feel the need to move up and on, stretching my legs to
and scrabbling for handholds, I left the trail
somewhere and I'm climbing up the side of the hill
I could fall and hurt myself, no one would know. I
could get lost (but not really) and no one would know
where I was, unless they traced the car left after sunset
to my parents. I could reach the top of the world and
share the triumph with myself, alone in clear sunlight
I do, and stand there breathing, nose and fingers
red with exertion and cold, tingling with life and
thrill and power and me. Just me.
I take my time going back down.