One Leap Apart

Two cliffs face each other across a narrow canyon
“One Leap Apart”, 12in x 9in, acrylic on canvas

It was the way you waved that gave me pause. An uncertain greeting, a warning perhaps, admitting that we’d been wrong.

We stood on opposite sides of a chasm, wondering a while at the twist of the trails that had brought us apart like this, knowing we could not retrace our steps.

The earlier path we’d been on together had forked into two. They would join again soon, we were sure. On a ridge this high there was nowhere else they could go. And so, “Let’s each take one and see what we see.”

But these stone-cliff ways aren’t what they seem, as we were to find.

Each path had its own purpose, with no intent to reunite. The farther we went, the more we diverged, but didn’t know it then.

When I came to the chasm you were already there, waiting on the other side. That’s when you waved. “Our plan has been foiled.”

“This terrain is not to be trusted.”

Had either of us taken a turn where we shouldn’t? Or wandered astray, distracted by thoughts of vistas more pleasing and green? No, for no tempting byways had appeared on the separate trails. The original fault had been to follow our sundering whim.

“Could you fly?” A slight updraft had suggested my jest. The air might be buoyant and lift you.

“I would need a lighter heart.” Your own attempt at a jest.

Yes. With hearts light enough we could meet in the middle and gently ascend. No knowing where to, but a sensible map would show us the way, we were sure.

We’d have to take a daring chance.

“I’ll toss you my things, then leap across.” Which of us spoke I forget. The words resounded down down into and out of the narrow canyon.

By the time the echo faded away, we were side by side once more.

In Timeless Woods

Silhouette of tree with wavy connecting branches against an autumn-colored woodland background
“In Timeless Woods”, 8in x 8in, acrylic on canvas

The forest was quiet, we sat quite still. Not a word to speak or reason to stir. The tree before us entranced us enough, we had no need for diversions.

A rustling down the hill turned our heads.

“A deer?” you guessed.

“Not the wind,” I replied.

We continued to sit in calmness, for what could harm us out here?

The rustling approached and grew to a commotion, as if urging us to move. The bushes nearby shook and parted.

Time came striding by, and paused. It was in a hurry to get somewhere, as time so often is, and was confused by two who weren’t.

Most of life, in a way, is spent simply filling hours. Grand schemes and lofty goals, urgent chores and fleeting pursuits. All require an eye on the clock, to plan and progress and reach some measured end.

Our forest day was none of this. We had no schedule to keep, no list of items to do, and no place else to be. 

We had no need of time. Without a care we waved it on.

It frowned and turned and continued its march, off to harry a busy world. We sat back to contemplate the tree.

Some days we pass the time, some days time passes us.

It evens out in the end.

Beyond These Hills

Flower-covered hills stand before a distant mountain range
“Beyond These Hills”, 12in x 9in, Acrylic on canvas

The winding road couldn’t decide where to go, or it wanted us to be lost. You said we should abandon it, now. “There must be another way round.”


I was secretly hoping we’d find a field of flowers to wade through, a singular delight waiting for those who venture out this far in May or June. That meant leaving the road that was leading us nowhere.

These hills looked promising. And perhaps you too wished for a wild-blooming meadow we could wander through.

We climbed an up-rolling slope — scrambling across gullies, pushing through thickets, and bounding over soggy springs. How were you not out of breath after all that?

“We can follow this,” you said brightly, while I paused to dab the sweat from my brow. 

It was the faint trail of a creature that nested thereabouts, recently used though lightly trodden so detecting it took some skill.

Before we moved on, a spot of white caught my eye — a blossom that shyly peeked out from the safety of surrounding brambles, which kept away brutes that might eat it or pluck it or trample it down. 

I kept my distance, but allowed myself hope. Where there’s one flower there must be more. The thought helped to quicken my step as I followed after you.

When the trail disappeared into shrubs that hid a private burrow, we turned aside, forged a new path, and soon crested the hill.

Flowers hypnotically swayed in fields of yellow, red, pink and green — softly seducing with nature’s perfume, betokening spring’s delirium, and beckoning, beckoning for us to join them.

But we stood mesmerized by the mountains beyond.

“That is where we must go.”