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  • Writer's pictureShana Ritter

Time Change

I’ve been back home for just about as long as I was gone but time’s measure is distinct even though the length of it is close to the same.  Time’s texture and weight are different, its viscosity changes, especially the way it slides through my hands.

Traveling has a way of bringing things into focus; mountains, rivers, stretches of sea all take on clarity. Skies extend past the horizon. Lines have curves. There are multiple paths in every direction. There is an invitation to explore.

Back home I am distracted by the list of to dos. must dos, should dos. Like looking though dusty glasses, my vision is not opaque, but it is clouded.   I am walking in a swamp where there are only small stones to rest on, some easily, some more precariously.  Hours and minutes are swallowed and there in no trace left of them.

This morning I grew quiet enough to hear the birdsong, Cardinals and crows, a distant hawk, the owl that always thinks its dusk, the many others I cannot name. The sound widened the space around my home. It broadened time. For a brief few seconds everything was right outside my window; the Andes, the southernmost bays, the wide Pacific beach, the Rio Plata emptying into the Atlantic. For just a moment time was silk, cocoon, shroud, thread, weightless flight.

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