head turning connection
i look back to check for cars.
my feet dig in the gravelly dirt just enough to make noise.
my mind and my heart are busy in conversation like awkward friends.
my dog is leaping from road to field, avoiding the soppy ditch, not thinking beyond.
when the cars approach, i gather the dog’s collar and set myself away from the coming dust cloud. a glimpse of community with the car’s occupants, i wave, then as soon as the car passes, i release the dog and she runs as though she’s been held captive forever.
this is the daily rhythm, familiar and full of peace.
the other day my mind sprinted and caught up with my body.
a moment when checking for cars transported me back.
my neck turned almost owl-like,
my eyes met the confines of my sockets,
my mouth pulled open a bit,
all while still moving forward.
as a 39 year old woman checking for traffic, i wasn’t scared.
but my mind felt my body and remembered something.
looking back for traffic used the same physical motion i used many times before.
it was the same head twisting on the amazing seven neck bones, the same eyeballs moving towards movement on the horizon, the same mouth dry from breathing in, the same calculated steps.
i would look back at those who just passed me…were they looking back at me?
i would look back at those who were blocks behind me…were they gaining on me?
back at the car that just passed…were the passengers calling out the window?
back at the dog in the yard…did he escape the fence?
the door that closed…was someone coming or going?
the child’s call…was it for me or someone else?
the bird on the wire…did it notice me?
the squirrel in the tree…was her mouth full?
i would look back when it got louder.
i would look back when it got quieter.
and then as my head turned back to center, i would scan the in-between places and corners, the holes in fences and the blanket covered windows. and then with heart rate increased, a focused effort to walk steady and even paced, i would look back again.
the other day i was 39 feeling beautiful and strong and safe and sure when my body reminded me of what it was like to be on guard. my heart felt them both, my soul nodded at knowing all along, my mind stayed with the discomfort, i willed my body to soften and take in a little extra oxygen with solid steps forward.
mind and body and soul…getting connected.