Matsukaze

Matsukaze

                meaning: pine in the wind (Japanese)

I came upon them
In the clearing –
An old woman in a puffy coat
And bright pink hat
Surrounded by hemlocks and oaks
And the swaying stopped my steps.

“Matsukaze” she breathed, eyes closed,
Arms stretched up
As she stood arms out,
Fingers splayed to December air
And leaned,
Just a little,
This way then that
Like the trees in the breeze
Leaned from their trunks,
Just this way then that.

And I thought of all the air rushing through them
In their near-stillness
And so I stopped my rushing
Peeled back my pink mittens
Reached my own limbs skyward
And closed my eyes.
And started to move just this way then that.
And when the oaks creaked
I creaked
And when the hemlocks moaned
I let out my troubles

And along the path more people came
And stopped
And raised their arms up
And some were yogis doing tree poses
And others experienced a faint karate kata memory
All releasing
Our breath rising through branches
Stirring the breeze with the trees
Letting peace come to us.

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