In the late twilight
on a ridge overlooking the great river
just before it is swallowed by the gorge
I pull to the side of the road
to admire the last line of fading daylight
rimming the horizon of this high desert landscape.
The sunset line reminds me of a white tropical beach
seen from the window of a cramped airplane high above,
and how that thin line of beach,
when standing at water’s edge,
becomes uncountable billions of tiny grains
stretching widely toward the horizon,
and of the confluence of water and sand
that has no beginning
no definitive edge
of how at any moment
you can be of one or the other or both,
and of knowing that beneath my feet
among those infinite moist grains
another universe of unseen life teems.
The skyline softens to a fading glow
along the curving edge of the earth.
Above, a crisping night sky is lit by stars.
From the darkness of the gorge
a solitary porch light timidly signals “This is home,”
the only spark of life on a seemingly barren world,
and how it clings there on the earth,
beneath the sky, beside the water
fragile laminar living between the surfaces
needing of each, being of none,
clinging to the edges
as the microbes on the beach.
The horizon finally lost in darkness becomes night
lit only by passing satellites
nearby planets, familial stars and
far flung galaxies.
I look from the stars
to the single light in the canyon
and back again to the night sky.
There is no difference.
like an addict,
my need for small epiphanies
met for the moment,
I turn the key of the green Ford van
and descend into the blackness of
the Columbia Gorge.
I have hours yet to go
October 16, 2014 ©