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An unlikely love story

This is the story of a unique love...

the kind of love that you may only read about,

that lifts the hairs on your body in a cascade of goosebumps cycling around each part of you till it reaches the last hair on your head then tumbles down all over again,

that tugs at your heart with a longing so old and vast that you can barely breath through its pull,

the kind that legends tell of tears shed so fast they become the source of rivers,

the kind you too have perhaps always wanted in your own unfolding story.

It started innocuously enough.

Sure, the lead character, a maturing woman with a mixed background of first world traumas have left their marks. Not from starvation or warfare, rather the kind where death reaches in too soon and takes a mother, the kind where her birth placement in the swirling tides of cultural positioning clash with her innate sensitivities and she can all too readily recall the depths of her aloneness in the wet, cold darkness of her childhood, the scars of nightmare filled nights, the pain of men taking way more than their share, and so there is some propensity for her to throw caution to the wind now.

Her bairns had grown strong, brave and tall then moved out.

She could do this now, her life was her own and she could gamble it any way she chose.

The wind changed direction not too long after she sold everything she possessed to head inland with the wild idea she might meet love at last on the rocky dry mountain landscape that had pressed into her hand its whispered promise of love and adventure and never again abandonment.

But the wind is always changing direction...

Just like the way water runs off her mountain in different rivulets every time it rains, just like the sunlight is always moving shadows across the rocks, just like the first signs of change of season are never ever on the same day.

So it was also inevitable that life with all its complexity of pain and wonder would find her, even here on this distant mountain that she thought was forever away.

She'd asked him to leave. Insisted on it in fact!

She thought perhaps his own callous scars that rubbed against hers were the cause of why the wind had changed.

She took the responsibility of this decision on her shoulders with resignation, like a yolk pulling the heaviest load. All the while knowing it would bring her to her knees. And so it did.

She wandered lost across the mountains for weeks then months on end. Her heart had broken open a thousand times over spilling tears, then at last the wailing of grief so deep it seems never to stop and it echoed over and over across the valleys.

It was not that she couldn't see the wonder of the world, the stars, her beloved flowers and birds.

Tingling thanks still slipped off her tongue like dew drops each time she passed a stream.

Her body shifted without thought in mimicry of tree shapes as she moved through woodlands as she attempted to feel even fleetingly the mystery and majesty of being a tree.

No, her heart still loved the world so very much but it had hardened to people. A thick vault of protection was there to keep it safe.

It was one unlikely day, as sad and wondrous as any other before it, that she rested near a small creek and with her remaining pockets of awe she asked a nearby Casuarina tree whom she had admired if she might approach closer for a hug.

In an inaudible reply, permission must have been offered as her arms were around this tree as if holding a long lost ancestor. Her heart swelled so much she thought it would burst. Tears and snot cascaded unhindered from her face.

A sensuality so sacred rose up and up as if a climax was surging from the earth through her small body while at the same time she felt her skin wind deeper and deeper into the soil, following roots around rocks, cool damp earth, worms, fungi, deeper, deeper down.

She saw across time.

What flood was this the tree showed her? Was it yet to be or far long gone?

She felt all the trees lean in and whisper to each other. They tuned in with curious love utterly devoid of any judgement.

She was home and they welcomed her with such tenderness it filled her and broke her open again and again and again till at last laughter touched her lips as they whispered she had never been alone.

Now when she walks through woodland paths and over rocky mountain tops she is surrounded by friends with each of them smiling and laughing and chatting as she moves through them. They love to be noticed and acknowledged by their wild woman.

Why just yesterday she slowed in fading light near a Casuarina, and upon turning to greet this wise old she-oak her breath caught and heart leapt at the finest touch of the softest love from the sweetest song of the oldest woman tree here as it wrapped her and held her and she knew this land would never, ever, ever let her go.

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