Charlotte, North Carolina  //  August 2022

A body can only move in so many directions.

My arms can only reach so far; my legs are only so long. As I walk, the right foot holds my weight as the left foot glides forward. And then they switch, taking turns clinging to the asphalt.

Sometimes I run and the rhythm is faster; more space travelled in less time, but still, one foot holds the earth while the other one flies.

I like to listen to the rhythm my steps make, the sound of my heel scraping the ground. And I like to look around.

I came back in August, when the flowers begin their wilt, the grass dries, the cicadas leave their shells, and the spiders begin to spin their webs to catch the death that is coming. It is the end of the season, and what was once the springtime’s fresh beginnings has turned to late summer’s smell of slight decay. This is the natural way.

I think about these things as I walk and as I run. I think about the seasons around me and inside of me. I think about how my life keeps ending and beginning again. I think about my body, my steps taking me to far away places, extending in directions far beyond my beginning.

But they always bring me home.

When I return, I go straight to the backyard, where the fig tree bends over the back porch. I climb the railing and in a familiar motion, I reach for the high up ones, the plump, purple, most tasty ones. Sometimes my foot squashes the fallen figs and I leave them there, their purple and green color turning brown, deflated, forming to the underbrush where I let them turn, knowing they will be food for someone else.

A body can only move in so many directions. I sit and I taste and I bask in the flavor of the decadent figs I have chosen.

I think I will stay here for a moment.