A Walk In A Park

Each turn and after every hundred feet or so, foliage grows in intensity. Shades of green move together with the wind. Tree bark appears painted on while grass stands tall. Motivation to live holds backs straight. Heights do not change, horizon stays steady. For now, in part. Branches move, as stated before, and so do the leaves which turn and flip as instructions are delivered by way of wind. Car drives continuously while time passes. This park seems huge. Much time has elapsed. Too much distance has been covered. Road goes on. Asphalt arrives, now up and around, then back down again. With yellow lines to prevent collision. An animal runs across and trespasses these lines perpendicularly. The lines can be crossed. None are in sight, not anymore. Nothing except the trees and shrubbery really. Now, as the bend nears, another is seen in the distance. This next bend approaches. Now. As quickly as car allows–which stays above the speed limit. Speed climbs with hill. Just a bit above the limit, so, illusionary safety remains. As top of curve is reached. Lines grow larger to allow present moments to be experienced. Objects in the distance approach. Now appears a visitor center, and its parking lot, which is pulled into by car. Only a few vehicles rest here. A few branded with park system imagery. Two trucks with a space in between. One convertible. And a golf cart. All parked away from the building–mostly. A large sign welcomes visitors in. Visitor center and gift shop and history telling space all crammed together in plain letters which rest in a rectangle with an oval. More trees and a waterfall are laid in the back behind the letters, which make the black outlines of these shapes semi-hard to read. And underneath a sign stands signifying the centers close for the day. This sign hangs off the clearly open door. They park and exit car, then stand on pavement. Looks towards door. Towards the sign, again. And towards the trees which border the trails leading off in most directions. One which follows the road which brought them in, and takes a sharpness towards the tree line. The other parts each lead, supposedly, to different parts of the forest. Path around the visitor center taken. Circles around the circular pavilion. Glimpses from the outside show t-shirts and keychains for sale. Some packaged snacks along with drinks to quench thirst. This area is usually open. Occupied by more people. To bask in beauty and consume it for themselves. Beauty now exists just for them. This path shown to be the most median of all. Not too long, says it can be fully circled in about an hour and a half. Just enough time to ensure missed arrival. And to spend with these trees which now grow much taller. Little branches and leaves poke out in every direction and some touch branches of other trees. Path undertaken. Walks forward. Takes in sights and sounds. And smells try to lure them in closer. Feet picked up and placed down, and with this, blood in the veins moves as well. Which are sort of branch-like in structure, however, instead of poking out they poke in. And create dimension for skin and muscles, and shows them where to be. The blood moves as the body does. Body starts and stops at various trees. The bark examined or a particular leaf. The sky seen through treetops, blue hits green directly and invites eyes to gaze up, to look through. These planes interacting on different levels create images, distortions of perspective. Unlike trees which can be seen pushing back. Another one stands immediately behind the prior. Bark continues like this as far as the eye can see. Leaves do as well, but some holes allow sight lines to continue. To be filled up by other leaves, even though color might be a tad bit off, it’s hard to notice from this distance. It blurs the colors together. Shows them as one. Differences unable to be registered.

The path continues with the body. Blood in the veins grows more and more steady, radiantly flowing around the space. Pebbles are pushed to the side by feet. Taken and pushed. The path goes over the horizon. From this point if stopped at, it would only take a few minutes to reach the edge which can never be reached. And what might be on the other side remains unknown and continues to be. The trees stream steady now. Lots of branches collide and so leaves, and bare bottoms seem exposed. Tops of trees don’t know those passing below. Are fully aware of these exposed expanses and from their heights, it’s really all that can be seen. Some signs appear to make the way for possible other directions which can be taken. Trails named after trees. The path walked on continues forward as a few branches split off and lead in other directions. The path to the left is taken. Trees appear larger here, and greener. Veins show hope and comfort. And so, they follow. And keep walking. Eyes stare at, deeply, surroundings. Intent gazes broken up by needed blinks due to wetness rolling down from lids. Forced blinks occur, and appetites wetted. None of these tears reach the cheek, they just stay in eye recesses. And body carries on. Eyes too, looking. The trees seem to be shaking. A dance to inaudible music. Their body doesn’t move in the way the trees do, and the walking seems to take away energy from any supposed dance. The same moves repeated over and over in slight unison. The limbs are somewhat coordinated. The right arm isn’t as smooth as the left. Feels more robotic, and unused which can be told from a far. The movement not as natural, but that can be changed and shifted with more movement over time. The left foot feels similar. Ankle, at least, needs more time getting used to movement. A sprained ankle from perhaps a few years ago still holds weight–and shifts shape, of the body. The healing has concluded, but the phantom scars still hold on. So, work still needs to be done. Can be seen now as body moves through this land, and eyes put in more work because they function well, to make up for the others. Walks timeless moments on. Sunlight seems to be changing as it reaches trees. Position of it in sky unnoticed, time unknown has passed by. Plants seem to be the only indicator, but each tree that passes by appears to be same as the last. It’s hard to distinguish. Subtle changes in branches. Configurations of leaves. They’re all different. So different to the point where they’re all the same. Symmetry is noted here through balance of different forms each complementing each other and bringing up and being part of the whole. The whole which is the trees, are the trees, and which feels whole only due to these distinctions throughout. Same with bark patterns and root patterns which can somewhat be seen, at parts, through the top layer of the dirt. If hand was run over, the bumps could easily be felt, the roughness complementing tenderness of leaves. Which dangle as if yearning to hold on, and wanting to let go, all at the same time. These leaves not yet brittle , it hasn’t reached that time of year, but they will be soon. Once fallen. Time can be marked through these. Lifespan could be measured, every instance passed, movement occurs. Extremely slight moment which could only be noticed up extremely close and if attention is extremely attentive. From their place on the path, they don’t notice these details. They themselves are moving every moment and changing as well. These changes seem harder to notice. We can. They can’t. The creases of the fabric as the body moves. The shifting of hair follicles by wind and normal air patterns. Shoelaces rub together ever so slightly; they will loosen and untie soon. Creases in mouth as air is taken out. And more creases as air is let out. More examples could be noted. These are the most apparent. Along with the usual aging of the physical body which always occurs no matter what. It seems pointless to acknowledge. The path is changing as well. The horizon stays away and shifts with the movement forward to allow this to be so. The other paths move to the left and to the right. Sometimes allowing imagined entrance into their world. Noticed by them, but not partaken. These other paths seem to shift too much for their taste. They prefer steady straightforward movement. These alluring paths do not. They don’t have the same sorts of trees. Not as tall and less vibrant but cause thoughts surrounding potential changes in the future to take over mind. The trees will grow larger as the path goes on, and become more saturated. The end of any of these paths could be more vibrant than this one, multiplied countless times. They could lead to a clearing. A river. Something magical, but that seems to not be wanted. They just want to continue, here. And continue they do. Movement continues all around and forward. More steps taken, more body movement. Which leads away from car, and time which was supposed to be met at the destination. That place. Or leads towards. They don’t know where they are. Directional indications have all been obscured by tree lines, and maybe they are approaching destination–closer. This is unknown. As is future and history of past. They have not looked back once.

Now the path approaches another turn. Feet carry on and lead towards (it). Bend nears allowing sightlines to rest on new, taller trees. Which look like those already seen. The last trunk allows blue of sky to come into view at a lower level. And feet quicken pace now. Desire to see more enhances energy to this part of the body. Given ideas of what might be here are now destroyed. As turn nears completion. In the distance the sky still stays. And this divide ends at the end of the path. Where a wood fence partially stands blocking the sky from touching the grass. Now moving closer, they see rock and grass protruding out of the other side, past the fence, far off in the distance above exposed rocks which lead down below. To the far left and right trees stand. The path cleared out widens here. Down to the point where the fence is. Some benches sit by as well. Chipped a bit. A wooden platform, only seen just now, extends a bit farther out and takes part of the fence with it. They approach. Step past the benches and past the closer part of the fence, now, and prepare to step on the platform.

Trees behind. Across the open expanse we see more grass and less trees. A darker shade given to this forest. Might be of the same one. There is separation between, literally, so, it might be different depending on how forests are defined. Wood comforts the sole of the shoe which first touches down and the wood creaks underneath. Loud enough to just reach the ear. The second step brings the other sole in contact. Another creek emanates. A sound emits from the trees in the distance, behind. Head turns to look. Nothing is seen except for the trees and the, now, empty path. Head turns back. And the expanse continues to grow. Far, far, down below water rushes towards the left. Some rocks and gravel and grass and several trees rest on an embankment. Head turns to the right. Off in the far distance where trees continue, a waterfall rushes over from the same altitude at which they stand. They notice the collision but can’t hear the sound. They see the wall but not its movement. They try to look further past but can’t see more; more than water which extends outwards until it combines with sky.

As head turns back to face forward. Light goes out. All is dark. Wood nor water nor trees can be seen. Sounds emit from night creatures woken up. Head stares straight. Turns to left and right. Waterfall collisions can be heard, now, but not seen. Hand on wood railing feels core roots which make it up. They stand with head still straight. Forward, that is. And stop moving. They must wait.

Light returns. Sun comes out again. Head looks up towards sky. Blueness surrounds. Glowing sun looks back, seems innocent. Rest of the sky is clear; light is all that stays. That still takes up space. Sounds are gone. Body feels compelled to turn head. Not to the right or left, but completely around. Back to the path. To the forest on this side of the division. From even this distance it’s easy to see. Light shines down on a singular spot. In between the trees. A leaf mid-fall comes down. Leaf looks just at them. Directly. Shape molded in exact proportions. Lines align with outlines of arms and legs and curves of hips and ears poking out from heads. Presence entirely felt. Connection pushed through and across. Vivid veins reach out and touch them from this great distance. They run over. Immediately cross distance in minimal seconds. And reach right in front as leaf hits ground. Leaf looks perfect. All patterns perfectly created. Every particle put into correct places. Leaf speaks. Beauty. Warmth. Sunlight pours in. Still continues to appear to shine down on this spot. This circle big enough just to contain this leaf illuminated. On ground, leaf sits still. They feel whole. They look down at this leaf, convinced that leaf looks back. Head stares down. Focused on leaf, observing all veins. They see rushing blood. Beauty in translucent skin. Sunlight beating down on covered back filling up heart. They hear the voice. Leaf continues to speak. They extend out and try to fill into leaf. Leaf is grabbed by hand on extended arm and body in bent position resulting from knees. As touch occurs, explosion occurs, leaf hardly rests in hand. Body frozen except for eyes focused intently on each particle. Every moment of leaf. The connection they feel. They are stuck. Memories all dissolve. Brain empties as leaf takes up space. Perceived voices continue to come in and enter this space. They are convinced. Nothing else exists. Leaf only moves in hand due to shifts in hand. They think of this movement. They take it in. Another mode of communication. They have leaf. Explosion of movement comes from and pushes around body. Circling around quickly. This is it. Eyes continue to stare. Body continues to freeze. Leaf feels too right. Too perfect. So purposeful. Veins flow so swiftly. Stem tickles palm and sends shivers up spine. Each print on hand can feel its surface. They shake. They gain strength. They have forgotten car, space, destinations, and time. Their hand stays still. They stay staring. Eyes unmoving. Lids unblinking. Tears don’t well. Trees seems to slip. To fade. So does light. Sky-blues, too. Next the grass. Gaze is all on leaf. Consumed by it all. Its taken over. Voice tells them to allow it. To allow it to continue. And to remove these boundaries. To let it take over. To let it take in. Put it in. After carving out a hole. Large enough to be pushed through. And in. And movement as through leaf. As body moves in a steady rhythm. And piercing of leaf continues to occur. As facial muscles constrict. And shift. And sounds begin to emit from mouth. Guttural sounds which further indicate happenings to trees and other animals. Which not too interested don’t come by to watch. Movement quickens as body pushes forth. Through and in and out and back again. Continuing for brief moments until head comes to realize. What has occurred. All memories come floating back. Of other body in wait at home. And those moments shared between the two. Moments put onto leaf. Moments given into leaf. All now put on floor. Leaf rests. And arm on body goes down. Reaches down to remove. To let blood flow. From spot where appendage once was. Now on floor next to leaf.