Waiting for the Sun

The sun has been down for more than an hour, but it is still hot. There is a soft breeze, blowing through the upper branches. On the ground, only stirrings of heat make it down from above.

They finished their dinner thirty minutes ago. Roasted hot dogs with pork and beans, a couple of fallen, burnt wieners still lay beside the fire. Empty Dr. Pepper cans have become target practice for a one-cock bb gun. The father teaches his son to aim the gun.

After dinner a group of campers from across the clearing came to say hello, and have now gone back to their air-conditioned camper. The blue canvas tent the two share is sweltering, it is cooler out side in the heat of the night. Hoping for the winds to come down.

The fire shows up into the height of the trees, beneath which they have camped for the night. Birds, crickets and bullfrogs all call out, competing to be heard above each other. The high winds add their own voice to the melody. The tune is punctuated with the beat of the gun.

Cock. Fire. Ping off the can.
Cock. Fire. Ping off the can.
Cock. Fire. Ping off the can.

They have moved away from the fire. Staying within the light, but away from the heat.

The father sits back on his haunches while the son sets the cans up for another shooting session.

And then it stops.

The birds. The crickets. Bullfrogs and wind. All the noise of the night dies away before the two really know it. Only realizing when the silence becomes loud in their ears.

The boy stops putting the cans back up on the dirt mound, father stands up, fists clenched. A light appears in the upper branches of the old elms. Brilliant white-blue, rays pierce into the leaves and onto the ground.

“Come’ere,” the father says looking up at the light.

Now a second moves over the trees. Quiet, no sound, no wind.

Not a helicopter, definitely not a plane. The father thinks to himself.

The campers from across the clearing, a mother and her two daughters, run toward the two.

“There’s another,” the mother says pointing to the south, the way back to the road, the way back to civilization.

Now three lights hover above the giant elms. No sound, no wind, nothing holding them in the sky.

“What are they dad?” the boy asks, moving in between his fathers right arm and chest, holding the bb gun to his own chest.

The father looks to his boy, grabs the gun and lays it down.

“I don’t know. Damn, I don’t know,” he says looking back up at the trio of white-blue suns hovering above their elms.

“What should we do?” the woman says aloud.

No one answers her, no one can. They simply stare into the light. Not blinking, not moving, not talking. Just staring at the bright lights.

Time stopped for the five as they watched the lights float above them. The lights move around each other, blurring into the next as the cross over and under, or through each other.

Then quickly, one by one the three lights move up in to the sky. Disappearing into the blackness of the night. The mother and her daughters walk slowly back to their cool camper, quietly, not talking to each other.

The father bends his neck for the first time in minutes. Looks at his son, and sighs.

“You okay?” he asks the boy.

The little brown headed boy only nods, still looking at the heavens. Wondering.

The sounds of darkness don’t come back that night. The father and the son set up under the stars. Not talking, they don’t have to. Just watching the sky, counting the falling stars, and waiting for the sun.

 

Matthew Williamson
6/30/94 @ 21:18

The Universe Tree

Universe TreeLast night I dreamed that I was sitting on a high branch in the Universe Tree. The branches span galaxies. Nebula float in and around leaves, suns glisten like dew drops as the float along the most slender of branches.

I sat on branch near the top, but not at the apex itself, the owl, seeing it all. The Universe Tree then spoke deeply into my being. Every creak of the branches, every sound of leaf against leaf, told the story of worlds, of races, of individual beings who lived but only for a moment in time.

A flash of light from a leaf far away on the Universe Tree caught my attention. It was Earth itself, burning brightly and then gone. The Universe Tree seemed to pay no attention to entire species rising and fading, this was just as it is.

As the owl I was not alarmed by the birth and eventual death of trillions of souls upon the tiny blue green planet I knew as Earth. I could see then that the energy of those souls, tiny sparks of light seems to float on an unseen wind as the moved from planet to planet. Becoming more than they were, becoming whole.

Questions.

DivinityHow do I call out to divinity?
How do I call it by name?
How do I limit the wholeness to a word?
How do I know the ocean by a wave,
the tree by the leaf,
the totality by the part?

How do I define the spectrum by the color?
How do I speak to the all?