Turning over my hands, I observe the lines that crisscross my palms. The folds in the skin show I’m getting old. Old like the canny trees and the cunning stones that jut out of the dried mud at my feet. This skin that’s wrapped around my bones, it’s worn and blotchy. A sign of poor circulation due to smoking and a less than desirable diet I’m sure, and yet even though I’m showing my age, I am at one with nature. I’m made of moonlight and stardust along with mud and twigs and juicy worms plucked from the ground by thieving magpies. It’s true that one day I will die, and the love and life within me will be no more, and yet once more I shall be reborn, and once more I shall walk away from others to spend my days seeking her out as she spins on the horizon and dances upon the leaves of these eternal trees. Perhaps she’ll always evade my grasp, and yet the shine she puts in this heart of mine is as precious as life itself. It gives me meaning. And what are we without meaning? Just carrier bags being blown down deserted streets. Just empty cans of paint collecting water in leaking garden sheds. Eyeing up my fingernails, I see how filthy they’ve become. My skin’s caked with sweat and dirt. To make it better I roll a cigarette and lean against the tree behind me looking out at the fields of wheat that spread in all directions. The wind’s dwindled to nothing and the heat of the day seems to have reached its peak. Barking at me from a distance, the fox impatiently waits for my return. He’s wagging his tail kicking up dust that hangs in the air above before evaporating in an ever so faint breeze that sends ripples through the stalks of wheat. Sucking on my smoke, I look at him as he sits there looking at me and feel an affinity with him more so than I do with most people. Smiling to myself, I listen to the trees as they continue to speak her name in a myriad of different ways, each one as precious as the last. Dropping my cigarette to the ground, I’m about to stamp it out when I notice a feather near the heel of my right shoe. Kneeling down, I pick it up and turn it over in my hands admiring its delicate form. Placing it in my satchel, I wave to my bushy-tailed friend who promptly lets out a bark before chasing off a passing dragonfly.