I was out in the fields when I saw them,
their skin a ghostly white underscored with gray,
their hair too long and swept across their faces.
They looked as if they’d lived in caves for years.
They ran across the fields, barefoot, in flight
from someone or something. Or so it seemed.
I felt scared. They held stones in each hand
like crude tools. Maybe weapons. And when one
approached, her pale eyes wild, I squared myself
to ready for the blow. But no. She faltered,
stood breathing, her eyes so frantic I asked her
what was wrong. “It’s just that we are trying
to live,” she said,
“in the present moment.
But we can’t seem to find it.”
I cannot imagine
the look that flickered across my face. I appeared
credulous, I think. Maybe hopeful.
I stood silent.
“Wherever we are,” she continued,
“seems to have already happened.” Her voice
still quavered but was quieter now. “Like this
grass,” she said, gesturing to a bobbing tuft.
“It only shows the wind that’s already passed.”
“And what about those,” I said, nodding to her
hands. She looked down at the stones as if
she’d forgotten they were there. “This is how
we pray,” she said.
“This is what we’ll use to pin it down.”