I have seen a thousand sunsets and sunrises, on land where it floods forest and mountains with honey-colored light, at sea where it rises and sets like a blood orange in a multi-colored nest of cloud, slipping in and out of the vast ocean.
I have seen a thousand moons: harvest moons like gold coins; winter moons as white as ice chips; new moons like baby swan's feathers.
I have seen seas as smooth as if painted, colored like shot silk or blue as a kingfisher or transparent as glass or black and crumpled with foam, moving ponderously and murderously.
I have felt winds straight from theSouth Pole, bleak and wailing like a lost child; winds as tender and warm as a lover's breath; winds that carried the astringent smell of salt and the death of seaweeds; winds that carried the moist rich smell of a forest floor, the smell of a million flowers; fierce winds that churned and moved the sea like yeast; or winds that made the waters lap at the shore like a kitten.
I have known silence: the cold, earthy silence at the bottom of a newly dug well; the implacable stony silence of a deep cave; the hot, drugged midday silence when everything is hypnotized and stilled into silence by the eye of the sun; the silence when great music ends.
I have heard summer cicadas cry so that the sound seems stitched into your bones.
I have heard tree frogs in an orchestration as complicated as Bach, singing in a forest lit by a million emerald fireflies.
I have seen Whales, black as tar, cushioned on a cornflower blue sea, creating a Versailles of fountain with their breath.
I have watched butterflies emerge and sit, trembling, while the sun irons their wings smooth.
I have watched tigers, like flames, mating in the long grass.
I have been dive-bombed by an angry Raven, black and glossy as a Devil's hoof.
I have lain in water warm as milk, softas silk, while around me played a host of Dolphins.
I have met a thousand animals and seen a thousand wonderful things. All this I did without you. This was my loss. All this I want to do with you. This will be my gain. All this I would gladly have forgone for the sake of one minute of your company, for your laugh, your voice, your eyes, hair, lips, body, and above all for your sweet, ever-surprising mind which is an enchanting quarry in which it is my privilege to delve.
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