In a field, a single tree at dusk.
©Photo by AJVallee

The harvest had been good
So much had been learned
We had sung old homeland songs acapella, each perched on a cherry-tree top
The fruits had this dark sweetness
One for the basket. One for me
One for the harvest. One for me

The view from here was phenomenal
The air was so crisp it sharpened the vision
Its purity hurt my citygirl lungs
All around us the foothills to the Alps only echoed nature’s gifts
The wind brushing the leaves of trees I didn’t know the name of
Birds I had never heard before
The sound of bells lazily preceding cows in the field
We disturbed it all with our laughter

Working the vines in the morning
I was ashamed of my teenager’s body weariness
Hurting long before those of the elders helping out
She would serve anis cookies and strong tea on the morning break
Stories of war. Stories of lost identities
So much resilience seeped through that land

One day came
it was time to go
She drove me to the train station
As moved to let me go as my own mother would have been
I would cross countries by rail and sea
The adventure was awaiting me
I couldn’t wait to be gone

I had shaved my head after cutting my long hair short the previous year
An unbeknowst symbol of rebirth
My motherless me
I felt like an island

Hours of being rocked on the tracks
Trains to hop on and off of
As I pulled my grunge self in the aisle, he shyly whispered
I love your hair
I turned around smiled and thanked him
We both had to wait for our next train
A café named after a bird took us in
Older than me, he was frail
Kind
Gentle
Nervous
I could never remember what we talked about

The old clock tower chimed
It was time
Taking trains on different platforms
A sudden kiss
Given with such passion he was shaking from it
I grabbed my packsack
Smiled
I would never see him again or know his name

That night a storm would rock the ship I embarked on
And the rest of my life began

Stop. Look & Listen. That’s Life happening. Sometimes en Français et parfois in English. www.ajvallee.ca

Stop. Look & Listen. That’s Life happening. Sometimes en Français et parfois in English. www.ajvallee.ca