the silhouette. part three
Who was it who said that consciousness is the universe getting to know itself?
Or was it trying to know itself...
A physicist? Or a poet? Or a preacher?
I don’t remember.
I take my hat off and wipe my sweaty forehead before crouching down to get on his level. The Mesa is forgiving and sends us some wind. I wipe my hand on my pant leg and then
“Do you see that!?” I look over at him, my mouth open wide in a grin, my face level with his.
“Yes, mom.” He smiles, and I see the sun reflected in his eyes.
It nearly blinds me.
I stand up, put on my hat, and press onward. My boots sink into the sand.
“Momma, look at that!” He tugs my hand.
I swing my face to see what’s there.
We sing a song together and turn our bodies toward the Mesa. She blazes red in the afternoon glow. Our shadows stretch long before us.
We follow them home.
I feel the sun.
I look at my son.
I inhale deep, and look around at all of it,
Azure blue sky, flat-bottomed castle clouds, walls of red rock, drawings inked there centuries ago, scorching sun, white sand, long grasses, silver spikes, wet spring-green cactus flesh, twisted and gnarled remains carried here by flood waters, fuzzy blue-white seeds on greasewood trees, purple-speckled mesquite pods, sunflower fossils pressed into hard earth clumps, crawling yellow wildflowers, fist-sized quartz, dust kicked up by the wind, cracked empty seed pods climbing yucca stalks, wild cat scat, javelina tracks, trilling birds trolling the wind, cracks in the clay, ocotillo fingers reaching for heaven, fat red prickly pear fruits in piles, long-legged beetles, century stalks holding their yellow flowers in cupped palms upward—-an offering to the sky, little dude’s hair tossed gently by the breeze, our home in the distance.
I sigh contentedly.
I see myself.