“What am I looking at?”, he
chuckles to himself. He watches it scamper about and then waddling like a
penguin to a rock, little arms stretched out until they grab it. “Oh my
goodness, why am I not…” and he reaches around for his camera but as soon as he
turns it on, fixes his view on the little thing, it vanishes.
Wymuth is too old to go after a leprechaun or was it a fairy? Either way the sun was getting up there ready for its shiny, noon display. The terrible, majestic sun and its pinpoint heat ray. He had his wide, brimmed hat on and had no fear of a little heat this summer.
Wymuth is an old coot. Too picky to
find someone to settle down with and too grumpy for the city that birthed him.
After taking his savings, and a deposit of his pension in his debit account
monthly, he set off into the woods. He bought a piece of land, made a small
cabin to his liking and set a wide patch for vegetables and fruit.
On his rocking chair he settles, feeling his sore bones and muscles relaxing against the cushions. Back and forth he goes, slowly closing and opening his eyes, his lids scratching the dryness until they close with calmness. His mouth still not wanting food, his belly still content from a feast of warm oatmeal and strawberries fresh from picking in the early dawn. Something in his mind pokes around in his heart. Like a vagabond, the thought hitchhikes across the highway of his brain, swimming down past his throat, and landing in the ocean that seems too alive, and yet too tired to consider this traveler of sorts. What did this thought want? The defenses were picking their teeth, not caring or thinking it a threat. The thought, waving around its arms and saying, ‘I feel so empty’. The defenses just smack their mouth together just to say, ‘that’s just you, we’re fine here, we got everything we need’. It wasn’t enough for the vagabond now stomping its feet, ‘but I need something, I am missing something!’. The defenses did not want to get up from their comfortable spot, but they did anyway, took out a shiv and killed the thought until the blood spilled out like a fountain. The clean up crew came along, sweeping the carrion and flushing it down. To Wymuth, it was just a fart. He happily tilts to one side and let it rip. He chuckles and snorts until he’s awake again and a little hungry.
Frying some eggs, that the hens
laid, he carefully transfers it to the awaiting slice of bread. He places a
pinch of salt, a piece of a leafy green lettuce, and a couple slices of an
heirloom tomato. He tops it off with another slice, that he smeared with pesto.
Upon taking a bite, “this is what I’ve been missing”. As he chews, he goes back
outside hoping to see the little creature. He could only see the thick, trunked
trees standing tall, with green lush branches swaying slowly from a passing
breeze. The little creature is probably shuffling away between the bushes. He
concludes, “I scared the thing, look at me, a big fleshy creature just
wandering where he shouldn’t”.
Drinking orange juice, he waters
some herbs lining the back part of his cabin. He adjusts the green sheet he
made into a roof over the delicate herbs to make sure they don’t burn under the
What else could be said of Wymuth? He likes to wear his soft, brown corduroys every day until they are so dirty, he has to wash them. He prefers cotton button downs than t-shirts, and socks do not agree with him during the summer. He wiggles his toes in his sandals, enjoying the warmth of the sunlight. But what about Wymuth that he does not know of himself? That’s a better question that most people explore about themselves. Not Wymuth, why would he do such a thing? But little does he know, that those thoughts that spring once in awhile come from a heartache he has yet to recognize. He may fart them out once in a while, but some, without his knowing, have cemented themselves between his teeth, lining his callused fingers, and even between the graying hairs on his head. They were about a love he could not have and to him it was all or nothing; if I could not have her then I don’t want no one else, literally. He was not like people who compromise and say: ‘well, love comes in all forms’; ‘we learn to love’; ‘being alone is too sad, I’ll have anyone that can close that void’.
So, who was this woman? She was a ray of light in the dark abyss of humanity. The kind of person God makes every once in a while, when the devil ain’t looking, depositing the soul in a vessel where he can’t reach them. Her calling was higher than the lower realms that we live in and call home. To her, she wanted to heal the world, so he pulled back, let her go and now he’s here. Here, is a clearing in a forest, a piece a land he negotiated and eventually bought. Here, is where he plans to die. Here, is where he’s showing the real God, what his hands can really do.
God is a fickle thought to most
people. Actually, a lot of people. They give this God either too much power or
no power to the point in where they conclude- they, he, she, whatever it’s
called does not exist. But life is funny for some. The way one goes about the
world says more than what we wish it did. The things hidden from us aren’t
really hidden and the things in clear view aren’t always a buoy to hold on to
until something else comes along. Wymuth knows what God is and with certainty
what God isn’t. It’s so easy to be swayed by a dangling carrot when one is
hungry, especially when one is starved and with eyesight obscured. But when one
knows where to find food, and have a clear view of the landscape a carrot
doesn’t seem that appetizing now does it?
Wymuth couldn’t sit in the company
of other people anymore. The conversations never went where he was trying to
get to, and people seemed too enamored with this carrot chasing game. If he
tried to tell someone what he found out, they seemed to want it packaged like
this; the steps, the how and the why’s and how much do I have to spend until I
could achieve what needs to be achieved? Such soulless people, Wymuth would
think. Being a preacher was not his calling for sure, he felt his soul die a
little with every encounter. To preserve and nurture it, he felt that he needed
to go away. His Claire went away to help, but he just couldn’t convince her to
take him with her. The heartache? not being with Claire until he dies. But he
keeps an altar like she taught him; a wooden shelf, a goblet of water, and a
candle burning. He would light the candle and say, “this light I offer to my
beloved, so she never gets lost in the dark of someone else’s energy.”
Mornings and nights pass onto each
other. Day by day, Wymuth diligently tends to his garden but also goes into the
forest. He cleans up the garbage left by careless hikers. He rearranges the
fallen branches, and even takes some with him for the upcoming winter. Every
morning, he wakes up and kisses the dawn and every night he sends a prayer with
the wind for Claire. He gets older each day, but the tinctures, the vegetables,
and the walking he does keeps him out of any real danger. His soul makes the
defenses to these intrusive thoughts, striking them down, and even squinting
their eyes trying to come up with a plan to destroy the origin of their births.
Wymuth on the other hand, comes across a strange sight. Small rocks arranged in
such a way, it seems irregular for the scenery. He looks about, hoping to spot
the furry creature responsible for such a display. Alas, they make no
appearance. Wymuth shrugs and walks on, a bag in hand and a picking stick on
the other, looking for debris not belonging to the forest.
One morning as he kisses the dawn,
eyes lingering at the sun breaking the horizon, a brilliant orange and red
staining the clouds, he sees something scamper away from the pumpkin patch. He
goes over and makes out the little shoots springing from the dampened earth,
and walks about to inspect if any damage was done to the neighboring vegetables
and fruits. There were some empty strawberry bushes, but he sighs and hopes
that the little creature is as careful as he was now. He doesn’t mind hungry
thieves, he would only be upset if the plants were ruined in the process. He
says into the shadowy morning, “They should taste really good, the soil here is
fertile ya know” and walks back towards his humble abode leaving a, “just don’t
rough them up too much or else they won’t sprout nothing good to eat” behind
By the candles he lights up in the
night, as he eats his dinner, he watches the rain fall too roughly. His
defenses have found the source, they urge him to pick the peppermint leaves, to
take a few sprigs of rosemary, and to add cloves in a pot of boiling water. He
makes the concoction and after eating his dinner he swishes the warm liquid
about his mouth and spits it outside. He blows out all the candles with a
Wymuth is awoken in the middle of
the night by a couple of pots falling from the cabinets. He slowly sits up on
his bed, and through the mosquito net, fixes his eye towards the kitchen. He
sees the little fella he saw weeks earlier. Its shadowed figure still,
wondering what the old man was going to do. It shuffles quietly towards to
opened door, and sprints fast away from the cabin. Wymuth laughs, “I wonder
what its looking for?”. He falls back to sleep unbothered.
The little creature is sprinting so
fast it looks as though it leaves white glitter trailing behind. It makes its
way back to its home in a tree. Sitting down, panting a bit, another little
creature gets up from its slumber. They don’t look like much; short, stout
little things, they’re almost as cute as otters but not hairy enough to be
considered one. Their dark eyes shine, and the awoken little thing just sighs
and shakes their head. They’ve concluded that the old man is harmless, but his
companion just wanted to make sure. He found no weapons, and he just seems like
a lonely human doing no harm, which was counterintuitive to him, they’re always
up to something, he thought.
In the morning, Wymuth rearranges
the pots back into their respective places, as the oatmeal simmers in a pot on
the stove. He went out to get the strawberries, putting them in a basket and
washing them. He halves the strawberries and arranges them on the oatmeal.
Eating directly from the pot, he savors his breakfast; the oatmeal sweetened
with cinnamon, a pinch of salt and cloves, paired perfectly with the freshly,
washed strawberries. His palate is simple, he does not mind the same breakfast
days on end, as long as it is this sweet and this satisfying.
The little creatures took to
Wymuth, watching the old man from afar picking up the stuff those people leave
behind. Such an inconvenience to them, tripping over these foreign objects as
they move quickly about. They made offerings to the forest spirit, going so far
as arranging the stones as the spirit likes them. But no avail, the garbage
just keeps coming. They would watch these big things walk about, their big feet
squishing sometimes the food they eat, how dare they? How dare they come here
and step all over their home with their big ugly looking feet?
One creature pointed to the old
man’s heart, they saw something else glowing there. It was a different color
than the rest of the old man’s light. They grew concerned. One went to the
river and fished out from the depths, a translucent, blue stone. They wanted to
gift this man, with the odd colored light, with this blue stone, hoping it
would help him. They left it inside of a bucket of water by the side of his
Wymuth returns home, sweating and feeling hot. He places the bag of garbage on the back of his truck, ready to be placed in the large bin near town. He goes to grab his shower caddy with his soap and sponge, and makes his way to his makeshift shower. He was in the process of making another room for the toilet and bath, but he needs more material. He is hoping to finish before it gets too cold. For now, the outdoor shower was a luxury. The shower’s floor was a patch of smooth stones and moss, surrounded by a tall wooden fence. He retrieves the bucket of water, that he keeps by the herb garden, and the small cup next it. He strips down, not having neighbors to worry about and goes in. He grabs his soap, and splashes some water on him to create the suds. He smiles as it refreshes his skin and creates a soft, sweet minty scent from the soap, enveloping him in a wonderful cool off. As he scrapes the bottom of the bucket, to rinse off the soapy foam, he splashes the water and something hard hits him on the shoulder. With a delicate thud, it falls on a patch of moss. The translucent, blue stone glints off light. He reaches down to grab it, “what a beauty” he says out loud, “where did you come from?”.
He walks back to his cabin, bare
feet picking up dirt, which he wipes off on a towel before entering his home.
He grabs a hanging towel and places the stone on the table. He gazes at it as
he dries off. He goes to his wardrobe and picks out a fresh pair of underwear,
puts it on and sits down still staring at the little stone. His soul defenders
have figured it out, and whisper to him, ‘place it in the goblet of water that
you have for Claire’. He fetches the wide mouth cup, delicately placing it on
the table. He gently places the blue stone at the bottom. Soon enough, a blue
light blooms and spills over the sides. Wymuth is urged to look inside, as he
does he could see Claire reflected in the light and his heart is warmed. He
could see her smoking a cigar and blowing the smoke slowly over someone’s head,
she then moves about to reach a big, green leaf which she then uses to fan away
something dark roaming too close to the person she’s treating. She sees the
dark energy and with a rough word it vanishes. A few tears spring from his
eyes, and the creatures are watching him outside. They watch curiously, as the
strange light dissipates and his own light glows stronger. Wymuth then says,
“thank you, I just needed to know if she was okay” knowing somehow, with a
nudge from his defenders, that it was the little creatures doing, “thank you”
and he softly weeps, a few tears landing on Claire’s reflection. They scurry off
leaving a patch of a small, leafy herb behind them.