In the Talons of Time

Time flies. It mounts up on wings like eagles and soars into the sky, its talons tight on my shoulders, the steady THRUM-THRUM THRUM-THRUM of its wings angering the ever-present though most-often-quiet gravity to grasp at my body and try, futilely, to keep me on earth. Time carries me away.

Swallowing my fear, I look down from skyward heights and see the fields of my life spread out further and further below, each patchworked square indicating a different season, a different experience, a different love or loss.

There. There lies the flowery sunshined section of my early childhood where I carefreely kicked up dandelion dust and sneezed in pure delight. The tall grass is still matted where my brother and I leaned back to let loose our dreams into the unspoiled paradise of heaven’s blue expanse. From this height, I can see what I could not see when I was young – the perimeters of the pasture where my parents stand watchfully, shepherding me through those tender years into a measure of maturity.

The falcon fades left. My feet swing perilously beneath me. I catch my breath as I’m caught up in the sway of the coursers speed. Time levels. I gaze down again. The world is changed.

The golden boughs of a sunburnt forest spread endlessly below. My memories dart beneath the canopy, emerging momentarily into the solstice heat and then back into the shade lest they char. Such tumultuous trees full of fright and fun. I seemed to grow tall and strong and insecure and stupid all at the same time. Other people were suddenly concurrently endlessly exciting and utterly frustrating. Especially girls. I swung from beating the tree trunks savagely with my hatchet one moment to seeking sanctuary in their branches the next. What was I so afraid of? From this dangling perch I cannot tell.

Time dips, and the ground rushes up to meet me. The eagle cuts through the air with increasing rapidity. The colors morph and blur into a quickly living quickly dying caramelized rust jaundiced sunset spark. My nostrils sting with each intake of the chilling air. I clutch my arms to my abdomen and find myself wearing a maroon sweatshirt emblazoned proudly with “A” and “M.” Is this illusion, or is this true magic? The cotton emboldens to deep purple just as suddenly. I decide to accept the comfort and enjoy the womb-like warmth. 

The bird lifts its beak and with a cry floats back up up up into the now grey sky. Time hovers on a left behind summer breeze. Directly below me, I spy a brown field. The breeze abates. Our altitude steadily disintegrates. I find my feet set gently in the overturned earth. The eagle’s grip loosens, but it does not let go. I continue to sink into the loam until my legs are planted to my hips. The bird settles, laying me on my back in the dirt. I sink beneath the furrows. I fall asleep. Time lets me loose. I am left fallow to rest in peace and, in hope, to spring up in a new day.

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