Journey

Journey

Wading through the water,

her toe kicked the jagged rocks nestled in its bed.

She looked down to see if the red she felt had covered the brown.

Remarkably, the brown persisted.

As she trudged through the now knee-high river,

she looked at the bottom of her dress and

wondered if its seamstress had contemplated this journey in its design.

Fitting so perfectly over her form,

the warm yellow highlighted the beauty of her person and

the mellow caramel of her skin.

She glanced up and round the river’s edge

where bunched greenery blocked the rest of the world.

As she turned to stare straight ahead, the pink sun captivated her movement.

She stopped

for just a second

and slid her small, rich fingers down the front of her dress;

the dampness temporarily changing the hue from yellow to gold.

She didn’t notice,

as her attention was on the sun.

She smiled as if she could feel it on her face but,

it was too late in the day for warmth.

She touched one, wet hand to her cheek as if to cool her imagined heat and didn’t realize

until that very second

that the water had crept past her balanced thighs and

now hugged her decidedly, exhausted diaphragm.

Her eyes

– distracted from the horizon –

became mesmerized by the golden halo of her hem swirling in the polish of the surface.

It dipped and rose in time with the current’s rhythm

– playfully stroking the peaks –

as it led then followed the flow of its momentarily, tempered partner.

She wanted to dance,

too,

but could no longer see her feet.

She shook her head and felt the sting of her plaits whip across her kissy lips.

They surprised her,

as nothing had before nor probably would again, in their forcefulness –

as if they were rebelling against the plan and disciplining her for proceeding.

The horizon was no longer visible after the reprimand.

With chagrin in leaving the comfort of the water’s cover,

her hands reached up to place the offenders back in line.

Her focus rightly returned to the waning, lilac oasis;

she replaced her hands at the sides of her dress.

The golden dance completed, it rested with its partner – no longer feeling the need to lead.

As the line appeared closer, it didn’t feel like she was even moving anymore.

But, she knew – like everyone did – that the river had an uncanny way of pushing intruders along without their compliance.

Rubbing her lips together, she resisted the urge to touch their softness with her finger.

It wasn’t time to get them wet,

yet.

Almost…

But,

not

yet.

It was getting harder to move and she desperately wanted to touch the sky.

She took a long blink to clear her mind and remembered how the plan

to do that very thing

had come to her in dreams.

Always realizing, as she had, that her options were unfairly limited,

the desire to find a singular solution to her plight weighed too strong on her persistently heavy heart to ignore.

So, each day that the glorious sun rose, she prayed with eyes to the heavens and

waited with her soul pressed to the earth.

Yet, when it began on a night indistinguishable from the previous, she was pleasantly astonished by its arrival.

As the sequences languidly weaved their way into her consciousness,

she marveled at their simplicity and

knew the revelation was divine in its inception.

She had intensely believed that her present course,

albeit imperfect in its application,

truly provided the clearest path to her ultimate destination.

Assurances aside, the recollection, unfortunately, brought no ease to her current position.

As she sighed and attempted to move her now faltering legs even another step closer,

she wished that her resolve would weaken and rest comfortably with her dress.

The step,

ineffectual in its purpose,

only managed to prematurely wet her mouth.

Trying to straighten – it was the only moment she longed to be taller.

Pensive,

she rested her chin on the break and

watched the lavender sun bob in time with her.

Digging her feet into the soil,

this seeming symbiosis of movement gave her some semblance of progress.

The irony of their also shared, respective suspension was eerily comforting in the silence.

Despite the moment, the loneliness of her situation didn’t hit until then and

she prayed the liveliness of the river would keep her company.

Its secret gospels surely waited underneath – revealed only to a select few.

It had occurred to her, and was now reinforced,

that she could not gain entrance in her present state.

The decision was made prior to this excursion but her will always had free reign.

She reached out her hands and reveled in their familiarity

as the water continued to claim their vitality.

She moved them up to visit her face and slowly baby-step her features to the wetness.

Liking its changed condition, her face longed to experience that to which her body had already become acclimated.

Eyes closed,

breath stifled;

she broke through

and immediately pondered

whether to view her new surroundings or leave it to imagination.

All she really wanted to see was the color of the sun.

But, unfettered and clear.

She could visualize its current transformation and wanted to lick its purple rays.

She suspected they were sweeter than cane dipped in molasses.

She could even picture the golden glory of her dress dotted on the water’s canvass.

No,

she would leave her eyes closed

and simply trust the river to carry her where she needed to go.