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TALES OF AN ORANGEPEELER

an archive of pleasures, wounds, sublimations
& other curiosities :: elsewhere :: profile


09.19.04, sunday night

First family reunion. First freeway tomato spill. First cacti emporium. First time to spy on woodpeckers and sapsuckers among the conifers. First bike ride through black oak cathedrals. First bigleaf maple leaves, dancing by updraft and drifting down and down, past the steep stone steps we must take to reach the emerald pool, where toes and soles refresh themselves, dragonflies grazing among hushed voices. First shooting star. First immersion in a river glinting with fool's gold, children squealing at the shore. First night-snug conversation in a meadow, lying on our backs while the bats sweep overhead in ultrasonic hunt, Milky Way like a kitten's first lick of spilled cream.

. . .

"Aunt Phil!"

Yelled out of bus windows, over boulders and through forest, across icy mountain streams and cafeteria tables, and hovering over alpine meadows, by nieces and nephew, bees' knees deep in such scents and sounds and sights, a world that was free of car or advertisements when hiked with only a pack of essentials--water, bread, cheese and maybe a notebook--strapped to one's back.

What will they remember of this trip? Will they remember the giant sequoias rising far above them? the night sky emblazoned with constellations they would never see in the cities of their education? the waterfall thundering past them as they crawled up a staircase carved into the granite valley wall shaped by a glacier 20,000 years ago? will they be as curious, as energetic, as hopeful trusting as they are now?




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