Freestone Road

“To run from vulnerability is to attempt to run from the essence of our nature and to immobilize the tidal, conversational foundations of our identities. In refusing our vulnerability we also refuse the visible and invisible help needed at every turn of our existence, and perhaps most especially, close off our understanding of the grief of others.” David Whyte

I like to go walking at dusk
in the twilight. But tonight I am growing,
moment by moment, afraid of the world
even my own surroundings. The moon has not
yet come up. In this light everything is gray
but the red pounding of my heart.

I come to the edge of my own being

I hear one owl hoot a warning to
another nearby. And then I make out
its taloned-beauty perched above me.

A Great Horned Owl
with its seraphim of wings
in the darkening heavens.

Its presence is a startling magnitude.
All that can come upon us without warning
as the angels of the biblical stories
change everything. Or the approach

when I am almost home, of this large stag
its silent silhouette alert, becomes medieval
a hart, it merges with the leaving light.
Almost Spirit, it must have been feeding on leaves
when we alarm each other, become motionless
in the interconnected bramble and lace
of the coastal mountains that are our habitat.

We live dangerously close to each other, don’t we,
to all that is magnificent and momentary.

— Judith Stone

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