Stepping onto the dry, crusty grass
yellowed under this August sun
with my hands wrapped around a camera,
already catching still frames with
an over-zealous heart
this is revival.
Breathing the smoke, washing
in the rain of these blessed ashes,
our faces alight with
an adventure's first fire,
staring into the hypnotic flame
this is preparation.
Pressing my palms to
warm stones, ascended from the
river banks just
three years ago,
jumping from this bridge we built that
calluses still recall, down into the water
that glides with such familiarity
around my ankles, with
the sun filtering through the
forest's leafy canopy,
this is memory.
Grasping at fallen towers
of birch and pine and beauty,
ungloved fingers flinching at the textures
scraping at soil covered skin,
feebly grabbing at well-deserved splinters,
wincing at our own complaints
this is pain.
Speaking noiselessly into the darkness,
towards a glorious, nightly tapestry of
passing meteors and the wild creatures
that honor us in their dwelling,
silently hearing us wearily
whispering unheard wishes
this is unconsciousness.
Singing gently in this fellowship,
close to those so deeply loved,
voices blending and melding with hoarseness,
still rough from laughter, still
choked from the desperate attempts
to hold back these tears,
here for just one last visit
this is farewell.