Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Pilar was so sure she was alone and safe for the timeless while she’d been wandering in this friendly forest that the chirps, flutterbyes, scratches and quarrels of the denizen birds, butterflies, bugs and squirrels were a perfectly syncopated symphony lulling echoes of the heavy mental cacophony in the raucous, predatory city to silence. The shaft of sudden sunlight breaking through the lofty canopy startled her eye toward the backlit silhouette of a behemoth beckoning with outstretched arms, that eventually resolved into limbs on the mother of many acorns, drawing her nearer until she could make out in the gnarled bark of the ancient oak the face of an old, wizardly man complete with hooked nose and a toothless mouth agape in wonderful surprise, an extended forefinger poised skeptically at its lower lip, shaggy brows arching as far up the shore of his forehead as escape from the widening rims of his bulging eyes would allow, sunken cheeks and temples softened only by wild hair, mustache and beard flowing into the more regular stream of islands and channels running from limbs to roots along the huge trunk. So contagious was his astonishment that, without thinking, she turned around to follow the line of his gaze and learn the source of his wonder. Failing this, she giggled quietly to herself and turned again to the giant bole, searching until she spotted the twin burls of his eyeballs helping the rest of her magician to reappear, and further scrutinizing him to see if she’d discovered an elfin carver's secret art. Again she turned in unconscious obedience to inner commands and perused the woods for someone with whom to share her miraculous find. Facing the tremendous tree once more, she felt herself grinning so wide her ears had to move to the rear with her ponytail and she decided to share her secret silently with the oak. For the third time, and for the third and last reason, she scanned the underbrush lest an intruder espy her communal scene and think her crazy. Laughing aloud to herself or anyone else who cared to listen, she returned to the city; no longer feeling so protective of her solitude because she knew, somehow, she was less liable to be prey to anything worse or gifted by anything more wonderful than her own imagination.

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