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You know what they say about first love
If I could sit on that cloud, that one, right there, would I still be able to see the cascades of this stream?
Would I hear the roaring rush that filled my ears?
Would I smell the pine or the cold or the wild fragrance of this dragon of wilderness, this song of nature, this worldly vein of earth’s life?
I think that maybe I could.
I let my old, wrinkled fingers fall into the cold rushing waters that is the soundtrack of the moment. I feel the icy burn of the clear river caress my fingers and climb up my old, creaking body, relaxing every muscle, every sinew of my being. The chorus of the water stimulates the thoughts in side my head, the memories of this spot, where I lay sixty years ago. A whole lifetime has passed since I last came here, I have grown and lived to see my children and my grandchildren mature and create and blossom. But that one memory still floats in the back of my head. I mentally hold out a tentative finger and catch the soap bubble of a thought that is my last memory of this place and let it fill me.
“Look at that,” he points.
“It’s a butterfly. That’s the one that has a week of life to find a mate and to carry out what mother nature meant it to do before she must move on to death.”
How ever heartbreaking the life cycle of this being, I keep my eyes on the splendid wings of the creature. The reds and yellows brighter than the sun yet some how the black is a cool and quiet as a winter’s night. After a moment I feel His eyes on me. I am afraid to look up into his eyes, knowing that I would feel the clock ticking away the last day we had together. I was never one to take change in stride; I had always been one to resist it. I tried that, to ignore the fact I was being forced to move halfway across the world. However I could not escape the clutches of my aunt, my only guardian, who, even though she was the one to tear me from this place, I loved dearly. But the pull of his gaze was magnetic.
“Like us,” he smiled, showing his teeth, straight and white but for his left incisor which had slight chip out of its perfection. His eye met mine and I felt the current of emotion flood me that I had known since the day I met him. There shadowy color and their subtle rainbows brought me back to every cloudy day that I could remember and every rainbow I had every seen cross the skies.
“Yah, I guess you could say that.” The romantic, climatic word I had lining up on my tongue were sucked into non-being as I looked into his eyes.
I lay back on the mossy ground and stared into he blue universe of the august sky. He lay down beside me and looked up wards as well. There was a distance between us that was filled wit ha million enchanted memories of this summer. Our hands met in the middle and we held each other’s hands gently like a apple blossom holding up its second half, the honey bee.
“I’ll never forget you, you know,” He said and we looked at each other,
“Yah, I’ll never forget you ether. Not just you though, the whole summer, the ice cream, the stories we told, the fireflies we caught. Or this, day, by this river,”
I smiled, the last day we ever have together, I thought but did not say. We lay there in silence for what may have been forever of possibly only a few moment. Time had no meaning here; it was just Him, the river, and I.
“Listen,” he whispered, “can you hear that noise, its two mourning doves singing their song, there singing for us.”
I listened and heard the mournful sound of the cooing birds lovingly to one another.
“Its time to go isn’t it?” I said, I knew one of us had to say it and I didn’t want him to have the pain that now pulled my heart for saying it.
“Yes.” His voice said but I could hear his hear saying other wise. We stood in unison and I held my hand to his heart. I loved the comforting feel, the steady unchanging feel of his heartbeat.
“I love you,” he whispered
“I love you, too” I whispered back
We never would forget this moment, ever, I know I didn’t and I know he didn’t, I can feel it. From there we parted ways, never to see each other again but his last words remain with me. as we stood there on top of the mossy bank, next to our own river of secrets he said,
“This is good-bye, but you know what they say about fist love, you never can forget it”
Now sixty years later I came back to this place, my secret haven. As I sat upon the same rock that a lay upon all those years ago. Even though many memories have fallen from my mind like dead leaves of trees in the autumn I still remember that moment. And as I sit here I can almost here the two doves singing and the river whispering and the forest breathing one line together,
“This is good-bye, but you know what they say about true love, you never can forget it”