Here We Are

by tobias crabtree

If I had built a castle, like a good ol’ big one on some rocky hill, and if it was really beautiful and cool so that everyone wanted to see it, and if I chiseled each block by hand from a distant hillside and carried on it my back for miles before putting it in it’s place. And if books were written about my visions and skills, if philosophers and architects applied their theories to my accomplishments — if all this was true of me and my castle, it would still be less than a single gray dawn with low hanging clouds and the promise of storms across the tops of worrying trees. There ain’t a thing any man can build that trumps the lovely nature of the world of our birth. While wars rage and prices flare and politicians learn new fancy dances, riches and truths abound in the sound of the call of a solitary loon. The call of the loon. The song of the sparrow. The honest scream of the red-shouldered hawk over the pines above Daisy Creek Farm. The tricky imitation of that same scream from the blue jay, opportunivore extraordinaire. The rolling, mid-winter symphony of the geese in formation, low in the sky and heavy in my heart. The pipping of the chickadee. The peep peep of the tiny vireo in blue-gray flutterings. The fretting, scratching, watching and herding, water-drop call of the quail. The varied utterings of the mack-daddy raven in roman nose accents and bouncing, side-slanting gates. The forgotten beauty of the common house sparrow, with that pure and flowery voice. The doves that coo. The mergansers that murmur and flow in monster river currents. The bandy-necked kingfisher, skimming and looping and singing, always shy and just-around-the-bend. The giant and silent, thousand-yard-staring, shadow-casting, cliff-dwelling cry of the golden one, the eagle of lore and king of solitude. The whinnying of the albatross. The lilt of a canyon wren that floats from the red walls of canyons perfumed by sage and mesquite and creosote trees.

These are the stones I want to carry. These memories are the true hues of the soul. This is the castle I wanna inhabit. Every day the sky is split wide open by the songs and stories of a billion beating hearts being carried by wings that read the winds. These feathery songsters. The quiet rocks below. The forever stars above. Here we are.