aqui esta

landscape There’s a difference between everything. It’s easier to notice (pick apart) the differences, but a little harder to spend time noticing the similarities. If I haven’t anything else to dwell on, this is my latest go-to-mull: Time and space are one fabric.

That’s what I think about when i look at this iphone photo I took of my daughter sleeping a few months ago when we were traveling from here to there and back again. This is the area of Montana where people who love the landscapes in western Montana claim with dismay, “But there’s nothing to see in Eastern Montana.” I’ve never learned how to reply to that. There is so much to feel when you push through landscape like this. The landscape pushes right back through you, becoming a molten field of wheat bisected by iron tracks laid down for the railroad in the 1870s.

And if you slow down your processing unit in your head, the telephone pole will appear. And so will the street sign along a country road that says, Aqui Esta. Which happened yesterday when we were driving home from visiting my sister’s sheep farm. My daughter was maybe thinking about leaving her new puppy behind at my sister’s for a week while she travels out of the country. And my mind was dwelling on both my kids soon boarding a plane to another country and what if this was the one time a plane blows up in the sky with them both on board. How will I survive my children? Which is different than the thoughts I’ve been processing for the past many months, fighting for good health, wondering how my (adult) children will survive me if I fail in this fight. What will become?

But remember: Every river has its village. And each smart phone has its weather alerts. Once your life’s circle includes weather alerts, you become aware of more perils. Areas you’ve heretofore not heard of are in danger of flash floods now that snow-melt is meeting with spring rain. Areas you didn’t realize you knew are subject to high wind warnings with quarter-size hail predicted. And in the middle of traveling from here to there, from delivering the pup to the sheep farm and returning, from worrying about dying to realizing you are living, you drive through the Blue Creek flood zone and realize there is no flood, no high water. Just that reassuring green street sign in the rural subdivision: Aqui Esta.


About redmitten

author of Cracking Geodes Open, Making Good Use of August, and The Peppermint Bottle. poetry editor for IthacaLit. website:

13 responses to “aqui esta

  1. Beautiful photograph, Sherry. I know this landscape so well and find it deeply satisfying and calming. I’m sorry to hear of threats to the body and fighting and the travel of children to faraway places. I want all to be perfect in your world, and (of course) it is. You are gifted at bringing us back to the moment. Aqui esta, indeed.

  2. LOVE this. And your last post. The photograph here is like a rich oil painting, the words the details. I love how you detail the thoughts…Brilliant. More, please! x j

  3. redmitten

    janelle, you know i almost didn’t post this. i thought, who in the world is going to want to read this? so, i thank you for letting me know! we reach each other across the spinning planet, don’t we!

  4. Thank you, my heart says. You, who are so deeply enmeshed with life that you see time and space as a blanket, smothering and protecting.

    • redmitten

      most of the time i don’t realize what it is i am feeling, or how it is i see life. only when i write does it occur to me, or better yet, when i hear from you.

  5. Joyce

    Never doubt your message. Every time I read one I think, “Oh, wow, this was just for me!” Thank you so much.

  6. So glad to read of your travels and inner musings. Time and Space – the physicists say the are the same illusion, but I like the idea of fabric, woven with stories.

  7. We pick apart the differences, which I usually weigh as desirable or not. It IS all one fabric. Otherwise we’re trying to pick the grains of pepper out of the soup. Time and space bring one thing closer, push another to the back so they don’t all grab for us at once. The “what ifs” nearly consume us, then wander off as though they’d never been. This is no easy gig. There is always something to see. What a glorious photo. xo

    • redmitten

      you manage to say what i sense but can’t verbalize. the photo is through the wheat fields between where i live and where i grew up. my daughter provides the interesting contrast.

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