A Waiting Game

The valley was magnanimous in it’s apathy. Ancients who had sat and lived in it all their lives could observe new arrivals with comfortingly communal certainty. The sparsely wooded cliffs of carboniferous rocks looked on with thoughts, like theirs, containing nothing but tired indifference.

An odd place to call home. Where houses clung to foundations which barely tolerated them. Ever ready to shrug off the greasy layer of living irritants and waiting only for a shift in the winds as a trigger to do so. Freed then to return to silent solidity, there to rest for another million years before an inconvenient ice age broke the silence once more – forcing the drama of pangea and drift. But at least those would be real events, far beyond the minutiae of life’s eternal revolt against it’s opposite.

The old man knew all of that, in his own way. For all of his long years sat amongst the rocks he’d never lost the certainty of transience that framed and overawed his life. Never forgotten the delicate strands, ever fraying to nothing, that threatened to break and loose not just himself but all else that he knew into the silence of non-existence. He was happy enough with that though. Why fear the unavoidable? As he lived so did the trees, shallow roots no more anchored than his own. Each of them breathing with the breeze, not yet severed from bedrock but never so unwise as to imagine themselves permanent.

For sixty years now he’d sat waiting. A long term commitment to uncertainty.

Be sure to check out my new book No Cure for Shell Shock.

Leave a comment