A bit of microfiction with a splash of autobiography…

A very young man I once was acquainted with stumbled alone through a forest not yet quite leafed, slowly, falling to soil in selected places to rest some moments against the heaviness of earthly life, and in a kind of ignorant despondancy over what seemed valued and his elusive place within this.

Till the path arrived at last to a shoreline of a hidden lake cove where he knew he could sit, better part of an hour undisturbed, watching the vista at first, but then bowing his head in acceptable solace, seeing only the meeting of his jeans and brown boots, and a green tuft of grass. Till by degrees even the pure sounds of rippling water and a light breeze were swallowed into his void.

And when sufficient renewal had accrued to raise his head up and rejoin the landscape something remarkable had transpired. The sun had changed location a little. The cove, still quiet, had been populated by seven regal swans, sailing like seacraft in an artist’s animation, neither taking notice of him or not, as though an eternal feature of the scenery.

And so he marvelled at them a long while, careful not to stir. And it seemed to him, upon later reflection, that only because in that sensory reverie did some intuition also alight on him that this serendipity had not been un-orchestrated but rather gifted to him explicitly, did a burden dissolve over the following weeks and years. And he began to walk the worldly morass as though he were a sun, outrageously, instead of seeking for one.

The swans they came just for him. And unravelling just how they were sent seemed a perfectly suitable purpose for life.


[ Image : detail from a watercolor on black paper by Mike Smerdon. ]

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