August 30, 2019

I am crying at the top of Mount Harkness

For Grandpa. For Mom and Dad.

For me.

I can see 360 degrees around me.

I can feel just as many things.


One year ago.

I dove to the bottom of the ocean.

And as I clutched a rock

there in the turbid waters at the seafloor

I said to myself

“I shall make my home here

and settle with the sands of the abyss.”


Shrouded in darkness,

my rock upon my chest,

I fell asleep

content to never again reach a mountaintop

or point to Orion’s Belt,

or feel the grass tickle my skin.


I woke up just four weeks ago.

The ridges of my rock

still imprinted over my heart.

Darkness no longer welcomed me home.

The rush of the currents sat me upright.

It was time.

I could have left my rock behind,

but it no longer weighed me down.


As I still held it tight in my hands,

I started kicking.

I navigated through the isolating waters

for what felt like years.

But when I reached the surface

and swam to shore

and felt the deepest breath

swell in my lungs

I set my rock down beside me.

I let the sun dry the saltwater

slinging to my skin

and I let my feet carry me

to the fields of grass that tickle my skin

to the meadows I can point to Orion’s Belt

and to the mountaintops where the saltwater

flows free.


  • Nell, Berkeley, Yellow Hats