In Which We Go to the Forest
The light came in and carved the woods up. Quick slashes of wet gold light gutted the ground around us. The dark where tree shadows spat on the forest floor were like wedges for hiding in.
We were not scared. As we walked you put your hand behind my back because it felt really good there, and along the way we heard small animals skittering in the sky and the soil. Like us, the animals were gathering food and gathering home in the woods, and we felt very glad to share the space with our fellow finders. All the animals spoke to each other about the vast pale sky above them and the soft dark soil underneath them and the wet gold light splintering through it all.
You listened to the chatterings because you had a profound way of listening. The sparrows were nervous about the vast sky because it seemed very large today and they asked each other frantically is the sky too large and will it snap from its starstrings?
You told the sparrows no the sky won’t fall today and the sparrows were wary and didn’t believe you at first and asked well how do you know.
You told the sparrows that well you had tied up the starstrings yourself earlier this morning and I had helped a bit too and the string was very extra tough because we both had licked it after. The sparrows watched you thumpingly and then they knew that you were telling the truth and it would be okay.
Throughout this whole exchange I looked very fondly at you and you didn’t notice because you were engaged in a meaningful conversation with your dear friends. I thought something very quietly in my head but did not say it out loud.
When the sparrows felt contented and less nervous they thanked you and you turned your face to me. In this turning, you stepped into a sun puddle that had trickled through the treetops.
The light found you and was so glad for it that it brighted, rinsing your jaw, dusting your eyebrows and pooling in the tiny bowl between your nose and top lip. The light was gleeful and danced to show it. You were also gleeful, the light warm on your face and the world warm in your chest. I felt so overtaken by the joy before me that I began to stumble but, breathing, steadied myself on one foot and stood there balancing for some time.