Vines Across the Way for web DSC_2818_01
Episode 97. Little Mac's Memoirs of Now - The Cheek of a Child
I look out from my campfire and over my coffee and across the western valley at my heart. A heart composed of a vineyard in two folds of a hill. The winter foliage of the vines is on fire with the morning sun, and the shadows of the vines make a lattice so everything is connected and nothing left out. It's a heart on a hillside, a part of the earth and the seasons. And every year it brings forth joy.
Around the campfire is a family up from Mexico illegally. They are hiding out here. Me, I am not hiding out but just wandering around to see what comes up. I sold my rattletrap truck back east in Halifax for enough for the plane fare to San Francisco, and in San Francisco found a fellow veteran in a pawn shop who was willing to take my vintage special forces combat knife in trade for some used camping gear. Then I took a bus north.
The mother is feeding her children by the flickering light of the fire. She dips oatmeal from an old coffee can that hangs over the fire. Some of it spills and sizzles in the fire and she sighs a small sigh for that much that is wasted.
They would like a better life. Me, I like that they have let me be here. They are cautious as birds, always on the lookout, but me they accepted with scarcely the blink of an eye. They call me 'bendito', which could mean either blessed or innocent in the way of someone not entirely capable.
I am here to revisit a place where my Bertie and I found each other again, where she brought me to do that when my mind was shedding all its leaves, after the doctors had said I was lost and she had to accept that. No, I cannot visit Cousin Minnie's house. That has been sold. Nor is that her vineyard. But it has the light, it has the morning light, it has the message that the sun is always rising.
I look out at my heart, which is also Bertie's heart. I look in at this family, hidden and hoping. There is ash from the fire on the cheek of a child. The child is smiling back at me.
27 November 2018
Near Redwood Valley, California
Category:Travel and Places
Subcategory Detail:United States of America
Keywords:autumn, california, colors, colours, fall, golden, grapes, hills, hillside, leaves, reds, redwood, rolling, shadows, slopes, symmetrical, valley, vines, vineyard, yellows