I watched the clouds roll undulating onto one another. I watched the blades of grass flick their wrists at each other. I felt the wind swath its salty spit onto my cheeks. I felt my legs going, going strong, like oak hips and stone bones, my heart and stomach soupy and my head empty but searching…for something. I was leaving this land but I didn’t feel ready to yet.
The faraway sun skirted low on the horizon. I knew at 4 o clock that I was a goner, that I was pretty fucked if I didn’t figure something out. All this walking without thinking had displaced me further and further into nowhere. I looked at my map and tried to decipher the it in Deutsche. Yes, I should cross the island so I can catch the shortcut to the road that leads back to the train. Yes, here is the path right here. Perfect.
Across the sagey foothills I tread. The wind continue s to pet my cheeks, my boots continue to thud one after the next. My legs are strong. I stop often and look entirely around myself, drinking in the landscape to fill the void I felt in my chest. Now I see the sea no more. I see around me nothing but grey-green hills. I feel some sort of beat in my blood, as though I am dancing. I step livelier. The sun is late. Accustomed to the city lights, I note to myself how out of tune I am with the day in this season.
My legs climb a hill. I imagine it’s the hill, the one that leads to the other side with the sea waiting for me. I rise with the ground. The view tells another story: there are dunes, sand dunes, and lots of them. I pick a point directly across the way at the horizon in the exact opposite direction from which I came. I continue to look at the point as I descend into the valley of sand, suddenly so soft under my feet, the granules arguing against my push. They wish to keep me here, under the earth in this beautiful and foreign landscape. Part of me agrees with them.
I reach the picked -point , expecting to see the sea on the other side. To my increasing disdain, I find another valley even larger than the one I just crossed. More sand and another point picked, I continue, the lowering sun increasing my dancing heart beat.
The next point tells the story of the evening. It tells me that I will not be leaving this island, as there will not be enough light to navigate my way past this point. I am destined to rest under the granules of sand, defending myself against the increasing cold. I make like a carcass waiting to be devoured by island scavengers and nestle myself into the ground, lying against the wind-break of the dune. I curl up dead-like into the finest ball and completely shut off my mind, as this is no time to think.
I awake before dawn. The stars out-number my grave granules. They provide enough light for navigating. I raise my head and suddenly I am wide-wide awake. I gather my body together and continue walking into the horizon, the next point into the next point. It all begins to look so familiar, as it is all the same thing again and again, until I see the sea from the crest of one of the dunes. Finally.
After descending another valley I rise with the hill by the sea. It brings me to sage again. The sky is now orangey pink and the sun wishes to peek out from its nest underground. I welcome it but mourn the sleepy stars that brought me luck.
The sand is wet and I walk even quicker to keep from the coldness. The seaside is slow to reveal another secret: I have returned to the same place I came from. It is all too familiar, with the same bending curves and sage pathways winding around the frozen waves. I am completely unsure of all sense of personal navigation at this point. I was so sure….so sure I was on the right path.