Saturday, February 26, 2011

Midwest Sunsets and "The Big Tree"

   It's a Saturday afternoon in the middle of February but it feels more like those last few days of spring before summer takes it's hold of the Midwest. We drive past city limits with the windows more than a crack open and the music more than just a little loud. Sisters, sure, but more so friends. The kind that can say everything or nothing at all and still know what each other mean. The road wound about, over and around the hilly landscape, seeming to tell a story with it's path. Dilapidated old barns on either side, beckoning to be explored, both of us too shy to heed their call. Fearful of tromping on someone else's sacred ground.

   The tree however stands in no man's land. Public territory. It calls out to passersby with it's years of wisdom nestled into each root and branch. Something about it's presence feels like home, invigorating and comforting at the same time. This feeling must be universal; so many visitors, every car that passes feeling it's magnetic pull. The need to brake, slow, often times stop altogether and allow a brief break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life to make a new friend of it. If there were ever a real giving treethis must be it. Here in the real world, however, it is simply known as "the Big Tree", that one down that road, just outside of town... past all the college campuses, big box stores and mom & pop shops. Though it was self-evident to us that this was "my place" to many, many people it didn't detract from that air of seclusion.

    We danced while trying our best to balance on it's uneven roots (or maybe just I did), we tried to climb it's trunk taller and wider than our collective wingspans (also, actually just me). We laughed and sang and ran around like little kids, the road and field our grownup playground. Not surprisingly she had to convince me, more than once not to jump in the water-filled tracks left in the mud alongside the road. Something about splashing in puddles has always been magical in my mind... even so, she was right. No surprise there.

   Eventually the inevitable happened and other cars stopped, passengers unloaded and headed towards our spot, immigrants to our discovered territory. Even though everything in me said "just a few more minutes... please, Lord, just a few more" we knew it was their turn. We had our moment in the sun. The bright, beautiful, surprisingly warm sun. It would be a shame to lose the surreal feeling of our visit by giving in to our human desire to cling to an experience past it's expiration mark, in the process draining it of all it's potence and it's restorative effect. We faced the sun as it began to set, each saying our silent goodbyes to this place before heading back to our vehicle. It kissed our cheeks in return leaving us flushed and in a pleasant hazy state of temporary blindness.

Sunset eyeshadow pigments are from the Sugarpill Burning Heart Pallette

   From there we glided around the hills through the trees and fields as if we were on a slow moving roller coaster. We harmonized along with the radio, at times our voices syncing together to create something beautiful, and others mine crashing awkwardly against hers... and the speakers... and the wind. Luckily she's a very forgiving and accepting lady, that sister of mine. We snapped pictures out windows with her point and shoot and carefully out-drove a pack of over friendly local dogs. Heads banged and imaginary drums were drummed, invisible guitars strummed. An interesting sight to see I am sure of it. A fact that only increased our enjoyment of said spectacle that was our own creation.

  The more you love a memory, the stronger and stranger it is.
- Vladimir Nabokov

1 comment:

  1. you guys sound like my sister and me :)

    p.s i love your writing style


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