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.