For years this grainy photo has held a memory of you and me. A snapped shot as we walked across the open meadow, late morning, hand in hand. The wind had just begun to stir enough to set the trees to gossiping as you let go and I stepped out on my own. You remained within my reach though, I didn’t want to loosen my hold. As I grounded on earth, the soft blades bent beneath my chubby bare feet. Often your attentions were not for me, so I absorbed the moment, took in every part of it to covet in my heart. Together alone, we wandered. We talked about the wildflowers and of streams, and even the bees grew hushed and listened. The whispering Whitebark pine peeked in and out of shadow, back when the trees weren’t sick, and neither were we. A brilliant blue Steller’s Jay reminded us to slow our pace and gracefully took wing. The echo was magnificent as his call bounced around the quiet wooded plateau. The overwhelming scent of pine still speaks of home in my soul. Rocks pushed up through the grass, or the meadow grew around them, I don’t know which, but when I pressed my cheek against their rough faces they received me with delicious warmth. A different kind of heat came from getting this close to the sun, and when it kissed the top of my head and wrapped me, it converged with my skin like a father’s embrace. I missed it dearly when it became clouded but I didn’t thunder, didn’t want to spoil that day. There were always clouds in the Sierra. Their shifting shapes of vapor played among the granite peaks and traced the passes below that we would reluctantly follow home. We walked to escape the pressures of this human life, you and me, or more simply put, we just walked. In my mind I have always pictured this day with you alone. In reality, just the photo remains of an uncommitted memory.