Our connection was immediate, and intense. My breath caught as I staggered with the visceral impact of recognition. In the quiet diffused light our eyes meet. My watery blue diluted, dispersed and lost into the vast amber liquid of her large almond eyes. It was then, in that moment we became one again. Reunited I hoped, but could she agree? I was unable to speak, or even breathe, fearing our tranquil connection of spirits would be disrupted and forever lost.
Dawn pushed its rough ruddy shoulders one by one farther into day as we silently parted. Our separate paths distinct. With muscular, long, slow, eloquent steps she lead her dappled fawns across the meadow. From the stop-sign I slowly slipped the clutch of
my old BMW motorcycle and left the intersection of farm and pasture roads.
Early farm house light strained from kitchen windows to reach out as far as the wooden gate and galvanized mailbox. The farm house at dawn was a vastly different world than ours. A world of flannel, radio and pancakes, alien to us both. A world she and I, in our separate isolations, would never share. From the meadow, through the pasture, beyond
the marshes, and up past the young pines, deeper into the mature hardwood growth she followed old trails. Taking her young to hidden shelter, to sleep during the heat of midday. By noon I was a hundred miles east, on the Atlantic’s stark windy shore. In a rocky cove near the breakwater I visit my harbor seal friends to catch up on their news, and to ask for advice.
I hadn’t seen them since early spring storm tides, and the seals were full of gossip. They spoke excitedly of life, of love and what they sensed in the currents of the sea.
I told them of my earlier encounter, and growing disquietude. They had dozens of questions, and all their questions were better than any of my answers. Questions about she who was so long lost to me, and how could I not know? They understood about being lost, of swimming too far or too deep. Again I explained, She and I had been separated for so long I had forgotten,and it was me who had become lost. Their barking question came so quickly! Yes she is my sister, yes she is my lover too, yes we have always been linked together, companions since the first days, and yes, we are two halves of the same creature – one incomplete without the other. But still they asked me, “how was it you came to forget?”
The afternoon started to cool, and my friend’s conversation turned to fishing and the tide. As I gathered my myself to leave a young female seal asked “now that you remember, now that you found her after so long, why did you leave?” Pulling on my worn leather jacket and old gloves, I just shook my head and shrugged. Trust the seals to see things right.
If I ride hard I can be back to the meadow by dusk.
by Doug Mathewson