This part of the woods is unfamiliar. Its edge is the kind of place that looks like it’s going to open up into a strange city, with light the color of another world entirely. I wonder if you know what I mean. I can remember another such place, a woods of pine trees in symmetry and then---expansion. Or what felt like it was going to be. In reality a little clearing existed there, and within it a small grotto that seemed to belong in a fairy tale. I could sometimes hear water running there if I paid attention and we weren’t in the middle of a dry spell.
The edges of this place claim a part of my soul that is afraid to step into its light. I’ve been told there is a river just beyond the sweep of trees. Not a city but running water, alive and wild. Dizzy with imagined possibility, I hang around in hiking boots, feet clad in leather watertight and unsuitable for toeing the edges of rivers. I keep thinking I’ll go beyond the place where I always stop, someday. I’ll just keep walking over the little ridge and there will be the moving water that will tell me something I’ve always needed to know. It will want me to learn its language. It won’t be scared, even though I might be. I’ll be wearing tough-girl Tevas and I will sit on the bank of the river and let my feet find the flowing coolness below me. I’ll sit there with the eddies of the river around my toes and the tops of my feet, remembering the pine-woods grotto and its delicate underwater voice, tracing new places in clay.