Slanted World

In the evening, we walk on a narrow footpath through a cedar forest where I’ve never been. In a worn-down kind of fog, short of sleep, I abruptly realize the trees are somewhat slanted. Through the forest, the dwindling light highlights scattered bit of white birch bark.

Ending, we descend backwards through a trail I’ve walked up many times. From this angle, coming down along a hillside, we hear a running stream. Save for the three of us, we see no one else in the town forest.

Someday, of this strange time, I’ll remember the unusual kindness and intimacy of people towards each other. That day, taking photos of our friends’ farm, my friend walked out of her greenhouse, and we stood apart in the road, just talking, sharing pieces of what’s going on in our lives. She asked my daughters’ plans, and what’s going on with them.

In other days, maybe we would have hugged. But over and over, in this time, I find myself exchanging only words — what we’re afraid of, what we’re struggling with, sometimes threads and stories of our past — who we’ve been and who we might want to be again.

It’s a fragile time, these days. We’ll remember these endless, daily walks, too, threading through our lives, stitching us together. Take heart, friends. Day by day.

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