Friends- I have for you another rhyming, fantastical tale, written several years ago in the fall, back in the murky era before this blog- a sort of land before time, made up of dog-eared warm xeroxed pages and a large funnel that went straight from my wallet-pocket into the copy machines at kinko’s. An old story for you- about a lesson I never grow weary of learning.
There once was a person who lived on the road
With a pack full of maps and a hat that she sewed
Her hair was cropped short unless it was long
She liked to wear clothes, but the fit was all wrong!
There wasn’t a town that she cared to be stuck in,
So she traveled around- her name was Turducken.
Her ride was her bike and her feet and the train
There were mountains and valleys and sunshine and rain
When asked “Was she lonely? Was she ever in pain?”
She said- “I like it a lot! It’s never the same!”
Turducken was happy enough ‘til one day
In a town on a river that was muddy and grey
She met a young woman while washing her socks
With sweet oatmeal soap on the river’s flat rocks
The woman was gathering herbs for her tea
Chamomile flowers and raspberry leaves
The day was quite cold (it was early in spring)
And a big pot of tea would be just the thing
So she talked to the woman, and they went at a trot
To her house in the woods to brew a big pot
Her house was warm and smoky and small
With a quilt on the bed and some herbs on the wall
The earth in back had been scooped into piles
“Where my garden will go!” she said with a smile.
The tea was quite good but then things got better,
The wind it picked up and the weather got wetter,
So Turducken she stayed in that house in the trees,
And they dug in the dirt and filled it with seeds,
And sewed and talked and cuddled for weeks,
Because trains are not any fun if you freeze!
Now the weeks turned to months as the season progressed
Plans were forgotten, love was confessed.
There were bike rides and walks on the river at night,
Long hikes in the woods by the moon’s silver light.
There was never a season in all her time spent
On the road that Turducken had felt so content.
Now the summer it passed in patches of blue,
With pink for the sunsets and lavender too,
The plants in the garden were no longer small,
The long blazing summer had turned into fall.
At night now Turducken would lie quite awake,
And think of the bridges and roads far away,
And forests all dripping with ivy and moss,
And oceans hundreds of meters across,
And tiny old cities in steep mountain valleys
With curious people and laundry-strung alleys
Where small dirty boys played with sticks in the street
And the cobbles were hot beneath your bare feet.
All of these things she saw with disgust,
As she felt herself filling with that old wanderlust.
And her love lay asleep in the bed to her right,
Not knowing Turducken awake in the night.
One day near the river she felt it was time
They were having a picnic of black beans with lime.
As she handed her lover some carrots with kale,
She said- “I am leaving, to learn how to sail.”
Her lover was saddened but hardly surprised,
She took out her hanky to dab at her eyes,
She said just one thing and not any more,
“I have had lovers leave me, it has happened before,
I should not ever have opened my door.”
Turducken was stricken but still resolute,
She packed up her maps for charting her route,
In her back with her pants and her socks and some fruit,
And sat on the bed to lace up her boot.
Her lover stood silent, watching the trees,
As they shook in the wind and dropped down their leaves,
Finally she turned and looked at the bed,
And then this is what it is that she said:
“You can travel and venture and journey for years,
Be daring and bold and conquer your fears,
Learn every skill and craft that exists,
And then go somewhere else and never be missed.
But as long as you travel your joy will not last,
No matter if life is exciting and fast.
Since I’m sharing these wisdoms I’ll tell you another,
All that you need is in one drop of water.
With this simple truth joy is always nearby,
For wherever you go water falls from the sky.”
Turducken finished tying her laces,
And the lovers looked into each other’s faces.
She shouldered her pack and walked to the door,
Ignoring the tears that fell to the floor.
As the sun set behind her she walked to the west,
For that was the road that she knew the best.
Thinking on what the other had said,
And wondering what sort of life lay ahead.