He sunk his hands into the dusty dirt up to his wrists, lackadaisically wiggling his digits, and pulled them out, the heavy lines and creases somewhat filled. It reassured him when the fill from his plot possessed his hands, blurring the lines from his annual effort to harvest in an area otherwise profitable for solar energy and thin, tan weeds. He lived with this condition, to live out a life out by nowhere and no one, uncomplicated from the dynamic of where he had otherwise found too many choices to choose from. What didn’t grow, didn’t bother him, it was all moot in the big picture.

He thought on the first time he found the mountain parcel. It was August and his brother had taken him out there to get away from the tremors he was experiencing. They were not real, he told his brother, but his hands felt shaky when he thought about going back to his life away from the mountain retreat. It was when he placed his hands on the old growth for the first time that he sensed something lied deeper in the tree. He exhaled quitely, stood there for a resting second, telling the story of his tremors, his fear, silently.

It eased him through his flesh and spine, lucidly spilling out of his hands. It was the first time he felt this spirit in him, rushing as if a dam had finally given way. Looking around he felt a new connection, a connection he had been longing for. For years he forced this, turned brass into fools gold, trying to sell it internally as the real thing. He knew what sparkled did not always shine. For the first time he felt a shine. He walked the property line and everywhere in between that evening, he weaved his hands in the ivy and rinsed them in the spring.

Once committed to living there, he washed his hands daily in the spring, raising them up above and out from his face and watch the amber sun pass through, lighting up his palms, and spreading through his fingers. He appreciated the lines that had been worn there on his hands. There were marks from where he had absentmindedly picked up the sickle by the blade one afternoon and his blood steadily dripped into the soil. It was not pain, he remembered fondly. He bled furiously and he rejoiced in the experience watching his blood infuse in the earth that had become a shelter without roof for him. He had several lines and marks on his hands from his efforts on that piece of shelter. No more from shaking, rather, from deliberately hard living. So when he pressed his hands into the dirt and watched the dirt fill his skin, he thought of how he was home-coming, having already been there, and he rested with that.

~The Mayor