June Morning, Sargakhet
The dawn comes early here. I rise with her easily, rested, even though the night brought armies through my dreams, wave after wave: the monsoon wind first, tearing the branches loose, hurling them to the roof, then swooping down to work the roof itself free from the eaves. And then the rain, for hours, its thrash and thrum a raging heartbeat telling me some truth about the heart, unmeasured, unrestrained— how frightening it can sound, and comforting at once. Even the calm that settled in after the rain loomed like a worried truce until, before the dawn, two small gray birds stole the last crumbs of quiet from the sill. None of this has disturbed me. I awaken to watch fog climb the hillside, angled light fracture the open doorway, where a string of marigolds turns to a string of jewels. Anywhere else, I’d miss the laughing thrush calling his mate, ignore the blue-tipped wing a black bird shed. Here, time slows till the bee arrests the swerve and dart, coming to rest on fronds of saffron-spiked crocosmia to find a long, sure drink. On the same stalk, a silver drop hangs somehow undisturbed. I watch for hours. These hills ask for no more than what they offer: silence, passion, sense, storm and then quiet, all risked, all set right.