It was cloudless last night. The moon was new and sharp, shining so brightly that the rest of the world was shrouded in perfect velvet black. The wind was wild, and the trees that lined the streets were being whipped into demonic frenzy. The air was alive, and just stepping out into it made the blood come alive too; made me restless, prowling, hungry.
I thought of everything; and yet I didn’t. I thought of all of us, the children of this world and – too often unknowing – this wilderness. My shadow blurred in the shade of the possessed trees, my ears awake and listening to the song of the night – the blend of the savage sea in the distance and the cars roaring, far nearer -and my own heart alive and beating with the same certainty of every footstep that led me deeper into this tryst. From across the urban landscape, the fragrant sea salt rose above the grime and toil of the ghosts of the traffic, laying over the roads and refreshing them with a dream of nature – the memory of who we were, before we crammed our lives into boxes and glowing screens.
I followed the road.
I dreamed that walking this road would be akin to touching a memory. I dreamed that it could re-awaken every part of me that has long lain sleeping ‘neath the weight of my own ghost – that decaying spirit of everyone I am supposed to be. I dreamed of a “God” who knows I was born to run wild and free beneath this grinning crescent moon. I dreamed of my body as something earthy and spiritual; something fearless.
I am in love with the earth, and in love with the moon. I am in love with my own heart, and the parts of me that yearn for the simple freedom of being myself; the part of me that knows the skin I wear is chafing and too small; the part of me that leaps wildly when the wind crashes through the branches, and remains true; even as the shades of other things shred my outline and alter my external shape. The part of the shadow that does not move. I love it.
The road became a grassy knoll. I lay down beneath a tree and stretched to the sound of the waves, the grass pricking like a warning at the back of neck. The branches caressed the face of the white moon and blocked it out.
A stray breeze plucked two leaves free and they flew away, beyond my sight. Such would be death, I think; one stray wind – then freedom. Such are we – no more, or less, than leaves.
Aemorniel Shelley was born and raised in the wilds of Wales, and since the age of fifteen has wandered wherever the land’s voice takes her, seldom carrying more than her music and her stories. She has a deep love for the ocean, for the way the sun feels on her hair, for the voice of the wind in the trees, and for the way her feet feel when bare in the sand and the soil of the earth. Currently based in Los Angeles, she is learning every day how to connect with an urban landscape whose roots go far beneath the pavement and cement of its current human occupants, and whose heart beats slowly but surely in the pulse of the Pacific ocean, and the heat of the desert sands.