28 May 2018:
At the old folks’ home next door, a line of potted flowers decorates the windows, and, sometimes, drawing back the blinds, an old cowboy, Stetson-hatted and smiling, gazes out and waves. I walk the periphery of his world, imagining the long crawling past he could call up from eighty years of recollection. Always, moving through the cowboy’s simple day, framed with daffodils and daisies, I avoid the answers he could shatter. Ones I don’t need to know.
Thirty years tallied, and I’ve learned this: The past plays a rhythm beneath us, like old washboard roads. We look back as our many plans and patterns are picked up and piled by our tires. We try to understand: when we gather rocks along the river, they are gathered there to be given back.