Adapted from an image © littledutchgirl
Our connection was immediate, and intense. My breath caught as I staggered with the visceral impact of recognition. In the diffused light our eyes met. My watery blue diluted and dispersed into the vast amber liquid of her almond eyes. It was then, in that moment, that 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.
As dawn pushed its ruddy shoulders farther into day, we silently parted. Our separate paths distinct. With muscular, eloquent steps, she led 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.
Nearby, early farmhouse light strained from kitchen windows, reaching as far as the wooden gate and galvanized mailbox. The farmhouse 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, up past the young pines, and deeper into the mature hardwood growth, she followed old trails. Taking her young to hidden shelter, to sleep during the heat of mid-day. By noon I was a hundred miles east, on the Atlantic’s stark windy shore. In a rocky cove near the breakwater, I visited my harbor seal friends to catch up on their news, and to ask for advice.
I hadn’t seen them since the storm tides of early spring, 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’d been lost to me for so long, 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 that I had forgotten. It was I who had become lost. Their barking question came so quickly! Yes she is my sister, yes she is my lover, too, and 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 friends’ conversation turned to fishing and the tide. As I prepared 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 rode hard, I would be back at the meadow by dusk.
Copyright © 2008 by Doug Mathewson