My dear Sophie,

I wandered yesterday after dark for many hours. I didn’t quite enter the forest but I kept circling it. There were many flowers and many birds, still, and I pretended to see them, but my mind was far far away, across all the continents and all the seas, in the mountains of my ancestors where snow storms have not stopped since I left. When will I be able to return?

I saw the mountain hermit in my dreams. He is making the clouds and the rains. He is looking after the two trees that we planted, ones we named after the two sisters of the east who fell in love with the same eccentric artist writing his haikus away by the pond of lilies. Will the trees live?

The farm seems the way that I left it. It is still wild, abundant and luscious. It grows from an earth that was abandoned for a century and so learned to live for herself. She knows now to grow with or without new seeds, with or without the intentional hands of new gardeners, with or without a sky of time. Will she remember me? still?

There are many young pilgrims stopping by, leaving their art behind, and taking away with them more dreams. The hermit makes mud homes with them for the bees. They play on the field facing the Himalayan range that watches them every day making a new world, a quiet unreachable corner, further and further away from my dream here seen with open eyes, from a low lying plain of stable surface and stagnant lakes. When I will be able to sleep? When will I dream again with closed eyes?

Will you be by my side until then, my Sophie, sending me your poems written from the farm of an unafraid earth in a dream seen from your closed eyes? Write me please from this place I do not know now, if and where it exists. Send me your letters from there with touchable words from my mythical memories I have grown so fond of chasing. Tell me how the sun set today behind the spying Himalayan range, what was the hermit dreaming of, what were the pilgrims painting. Tell me if our two trees are still rooted in unrequited love. I will take your letters and step into the forest this time.

Votre ami dévoué
Z.

~

Vaishali Paliwal

Written in appreciation of art and poetry of Shringi Kumari- for some artists dream for you and carry you to your unreachable and beloved places.

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