Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Map of the Jungle

I am enveloped by the jungle. My boots are soaked, with morning dew and my sweat combined. The laces hang at my ankles. I am silent, for I am on the run – a deserter from an army I've long since abandoned. I am exhausted, my jungle helmet's liner patterned yellow on tan with past sweat. My messenger bag is empty, my canteen filled with but a drop, and as I bare my head and gaze up at the foliage covering my journey, the sunlight filtering through the leaves, vines and branches, I am weary. I wipe my sweat with my sleeve, for my handkerchief is affixed to the bayonet at the end of my rifle. I carry ammo, for the purpose of hunting, yet am running low and pray for a map. Should one fall out of the sky – how unlikely, and yet not far from my thoughts as I close my eyes and stare directly at a ray of gold through my lids. As I open, I catch sight of a single leaf from a great tree, falling and spiralling with the gusts of winds divine!

It lands at my feet – I pick it up to study it, and marvel at the intricacy of the veins, the stem and the colours, I lift it up in my hand to see the light filter through it. I am entranced by the beauty and a sudden burst of laughter takes me over, I am laughing and I've already forgotten all meanings of caution. I laugh with the forest and the shaper of winds, cackling like a maniac, and I dance! The leaf is, truly, a map for me as I lay myself to rest at the root of a great tree. My vision becomes hazy in the flickering daylight. The birdcalls in my ears, I've already spilled my guts in the way of my ancestors. I feel myself flowing into the grounds to feed the source... for all it has given me...

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