Up to my knees is just not enough. I want to swim to the horizon, now, and be immersed in you. Waves roll to me, bringing your invitation stream to come further in. Life and death beckon me in equal measure.
Rocks under my feet bury my toes and root me in place. Face chilled by wind-pressed tears, my sand-speckled hand finds its way to wipe away this wet, exchanged for grit now left behind on chaffed skin. Bending forward to drag my hand through water on its return to churning lake, my tears will make their way to you. Sound drones-on in successive wave-beats, interrupted by a single bird’s call in flight.
My heart heaves, breath is found standing upright, lungs taking in as much air as they can hold. Loosening each foot, it’s time to turn away. Stepping carefully, methodically, out of water’s reach, now placing each foot into saturated sand, soft enough to leave an impression and firm enough to make each step count, I feel you behind me. I know you did not go away.
My attention now is on the sand, eyes scanning right-to-left for patterns, shapes, and pops of color. You have come-round to be in front of me. I see you in a feather-topped formation as Ikebana: Lake Michigan edition. All these items scattered about, I feel you placed each, just for me to find.
I would trade all these things to have you alive again and for us to be together. For as many rocks, feathers, and hearts that continue to appear, they are mere symbols of you, but not the “real” you.
Today is a cloudy day, and without the sun, I easily lose my sense of direction. The lake is my natural compass. Is finding you only a matter of turning towards what I love most, and then simply choosing to turn away from it when you are not where you should be? When and where will I see the “real” you again? Will Japanese-inspired beach arrangements and colorful rocks be enough? Just. Not. Enough.
I need the sun to come out from behind the clouds. I want to know where I am and confidently choose where I want to go. I know you are with me no matter which direction I turn. For now, the lake will be what I choose, the horizon my destination, and these will always point to home: to you, my love. Wading. In. Home. ~Paula