A memory

tree-in-the-garden(web)

tree-in-the-garden(web)

I entered the field in the way that dreams begin. I entered the field as if I had never been anywhere else. I passed into it as an essence, borne on the breath of creation, from one eternity into another, and I found myself in the grass.

It was a familiar field. I knew the mountains in the distance, I knew the cadences of the faint bird cries, I knew the foliage and the trees.

There was a stasis there, a pale, distant horizon, and total harmony. It was a place of perfection, but in the silence of a still moment I heard a tone out of place.  Somewhere, ringing from the consciousness of the buds, in the shudder of the seed-pods in the cattails, there was a suspension. The garden was an infant, a tender fruit under a hanging blade.

But I felt the sun on my back, and it was good. I saw the light in the dew, and it was good. I felt the grasses bend beneath my forward movement, and I could taste the air with my tongue. I turned my head to the left and saw the hills I knew. I turned my head to the right, and there was the gully of trees.

My favorite tree was the nearest one. I recalled, from atop the tree there was a view for miles. I had often spent afternoons in this tree, sometimes mornings through to the evening, watching the light change and the shadows bend.

I wanted to move towards my tree so I turned – I felt the grass blades on my chin.  “This grass is so high.” I thought. I turned my head back towards the way I had come, and saw my body stretched behind me. The drops of dew winked like stars along my torso, and small stones nestled in my curves. The smoothness of my body was sublime and strong - with golden tan fading into freckles of brown – freckles of brown swirling into diamonds of black, diamonds of black fading into green iridescence, pointing up the luster of my scales.

I had always lived in the garden.

I moved closer to my tree, leaving a serpentine trail of parted grass in my slow, winding rhythm. I caught sight of a man and a woman standing by the tree. I coiled to watch them from behind a stone.

They were intent on something. Their eyes widened upward with bliss and emptiness. They smiled, seduced by the unknown, as if at mother’s knee awaiting a story – as if under father’s eye, yearning to mimic his craft. They reached up, rapturously, like marble angels, and tumbled back again and again.

Finally, the clover trembling around their earth-warmed feet, the branches arching over like cathedral arcs in process, the man stepped behind the woman, and lifted her up.

I saw her thumb beckon the fruit into her hand, but it would not come. The man reached up and together they twisted the fruit from the stem.

As they bit into the fruit, a chill passed through the field. I coiled closer to the stone. The chill was more than a change in the weather, it was not weather at all, it was a premonition - a memory of things to come.

The man and the woman saw me coiled around the stone, I looked back at them. I knew at once that this story would be told again and again, but that I would not be the teller.

They found the fruit themselves… but in time, the details would twist and turn like leaves in the air.

...and in time, no one would believe... I wasn’t even there.

Raya Yarbrough

Singer, Composer, writer of absurd stories about LA, chanteuse on Outlander, BSG, DaVinci's Demons, & I used to date Dick Grayson.