Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.
Trying to get back to the chapel, I find a sign that points vaguely at two different roads. Perhaps it’s Robert Frost’s eyebrow-raise that points me to the red rocky one.
I go down a hill and start to cross a path of stones, but they don’t fit together, each step sways below me.
After about ten careful paces, with a quarter of a mile still to cross, I realize I am not on anything that could resemble a road. It is a rock pile and that is that. The stack of stones was set there perhaps for some purpose, but not for crossing. My foot slides between two hard places and I get frustrated with myself. This could get treacherous. And it feels hot all of a sudden. And I am probably trespassing. Also, there are probably snakes.
Trespassing AND snakes.
So I break into a run. I sprint to reach the end of the long stretch of wobbling rocks. I keep laughing at myself as I rush, tumbling forward without grace, hopefully unseen.
I remember a day from growing up. As a child in a household of seven, we had a bag full of unmatched socks in the laundry room. They waited in vain for a companion to be unearthed. One winter, after a snowfall, I put on several layers of random unpaired socks and ran across the snow without shoes. I wanted to see what it was like to race against the elements. I wanted to see how far I could get before I felt the cold.
This is also a tendency of mine–to wish to run when I should walk, to grow impatient as life is revealed to me, to insist I must speak the language when I’ve only begun to learn it, to want to cross the threshold and evade notice. To hike the two pilgrimage hills where the stones are slick and sharp, where the tourists walk devoutly, where the path is rugged but clear. Then to seek a different, absurd, unoccupied path and decide that this is the one I must take.