Copyright 2015 by Stephen T. Dunker
As I walk down the street I am shocked to find that I can see Death, hiding in plain sight with the people I encounter. I can smell Death, leaving a bad, bitter taste in my mouth as it caresses my body causing my legs to stiffen. I cannot hear anything as Death passes silently beneath my window late. Where will Death go when finished with me?
I walk through the crowds on the sidewalk every day, sometimes pausing to gaze in the store windows, seeing what is reflected in them. In certain windows and mirrors I can see infinite reflections, getting smaller and smaller, farther and farther away.
Wait! Can it be? A reprieve? Senseless suffering sidles slowly aside as I shuffle sadly slipping stealthily alongside the ship to the sea. What troubles and worries I leave behind will follow me as I set sail for alee. Nothing matters hence the droll and leave it here for some to discover.
Imagine, if you will, what this country would be like without the mad onrush of people which has plagued it for the last three centuries. Let us go back the early 18th century, a time of wide-open spaces and very little built by man to cover up the beautiful land of America. The cities that were already formed didn’t take up much acreage and the harvesters of the natural resources hadn’t decimated the county-side yet. No automobiles or trucks to do their damage. If the forestry and hunting could have been managed and no highways were ever built this country would still appear almost untouched by “progress”.
What vistas; untouched land as far as the eye can see. The blue and white mountains rising out of the dark green forested lakes with birds and insects of every color and stripe living through the scenery in such wild abundance.
I remember days at the lake, the sun shining bright through the cool, crisp air of early summer. Wind that cuts through your clothes and touches you with the cold goodness of nature, allowing you to feel ever so briefly what the world would be like without the endless urban sprawl and all of the other man-made horrors which pollute the inherent beauty of Earth. The whippoorwill and the mourning dove call to me, announcing to all their presence as the sun goes down. As darkness nears even the songbirds go mum while the beasts of the forest prepare for their nightly vigil. Mist hangs in the air tracing the creek and low points as the Earth gives up her heat for the evening. The Moon is chasing the Sun from the night as it waits for the stars to break the empty sky and herald the other world of darkness.
Deep in the forest the animals in fear of becoming prey stomp and prance nervously, keenly aware of their surroundings they tilt an ear at the slightest sound, ready to bolt at a moment’s notice. The cool air forms tiny steam clouds as they exhale and grunt to each other in preparedness. On top of the next hill the grey wolf holds his nose up high trying vainly to catch a whiff of something he can run down and add to his quest for existence. The pack gathers at the baneful cries and readies itself for the hunt.
The oldest of the bucks in this part of the country has spent the day fending off suitors but can’t afford to let his guard down now that the sun has gone. As the nights grow longer and colder he has to fight to maintain his rule. Although he leads a solitary life he never strays too far from the herd and keeps a close watch on his interests. His body is working at full capacity as the war for survival carries on day and night. Twin plumes emit from his nose like the exhaust from a locomotive as he stops to listen intently at a crack echoing through the woods. Another crack and the whole of the herd raises their white tails and leaps into full gallop, dodging trees and vaulting fallen logs in a desperate attempt to distance themselves from the source of the threatening sound. They run furiously but gracefully until they have an open field between them and the forested hilltop they had been lingering in. Whatever had made the noise was of no concern to them now and has already been forgotten. The deer, finding that they have run into a field of soybeans, bow to eat until they are full, always wary of any sound or scent of approaching danger.
Death never strays far, always ready to take a hand. Should you falter, fear not, for Death will be there for you, when no one else can help you.
Shush! Here he comes. I don’t want to worry him.