Tommy Sisson, I Saw You Last Night

I Saw You Last Night 

I walked out onto the front porch of the cabin in your woods. It was a beautiful Spring morning and the trees were covered in fresh, new leaves and buds. I could hear the water in the creeks rushing down from the springs that were flowing full force from the snowmelt higher up the mountain. The birds were singing and loving the warm air knowing this was the last of the cold weather.

I looked all around, trying to see where you had gone. You had a favorite spot to sit and just watch so I made my way up the hillside to that place From that spot you could look down into "the bowl" or up to see "the rim" of your little piece "of heaven". You love that spot. There are a few boulders scattered around that you could sit on, but you always sit on the ground, maybe to have a connection to the earth. That was the spot where we were on that February 14th, a few years ago, when you spotted something down in the bowl. You told me, "stay right here and close your eyes. "I didn't know what you were up to, but I knew it would be something special. I heard you scampering down the hillside, then coming back up. When you told me to open my eyes, you were holding a mylar Valentines Day balloon! After we finished laughing and trying to figure out how that balloon got there on that day, we went back to our campsite (pre-cabin days). We finally decided it had to be Fuzzy and your mom that had placed the balloon there.

As I made my way up to your favorite spot, I finally saw you sitting there. You were just sitting there, like you do, looking and watching. Your dark hair was still in the braid, down your back and you had on the blue and white plaid shirt you always managed to dig out of a pile of other shirts. It must be a favorite. You took my breath away. The sun was shining down on you, through the limbs of the majestic oaks, hickory's and poplar trees. It looked like you were glowing. As I made my way up to you, you faded away. My heart sank and my throat closed up. I wanted to watch you some more, I had something to tell you. When I reached the spot where you had been sitting, I reached down to feel the ground. I wanted to feel the warmth your body had left on the ground, but it was cold. Like you had never been there. Then I looked up a little higher and I saw you standing at the top of one of the springs, watching the water flowing down the creek bed. On the Valentines Day weekend, we had cleared out that spring and helped the water flow back into the creek bed where it was now flowing full force. It was like music on this day and you were listening to it. My heart was overcome with joy and I continued to make my way up to that spring so I could tell you what I had on my mind. I watched you reach down and take a handful of that sweet, clear water. As you put it to your lips, for a drink, you were gone again. Like the water pulled you into itself and you just faded away... again. I felt like my heart was ripped out of my chest as I watched you disappear.

I made my way back down the hillside toward the cabin you had finally built, on your "little piece of heaven". When it finally came into view, I could see the big front porch where we spent many, many hours... watching all the life around us. There was so much to see in your woods. The creek beds, the birds, all the animals that called this place home. The huge, beautiful hardwoods that were there long before we were. All the lives that had walked on this ground before we were even in existence. You can almost feel their presence if you were quiet and listened. Then I could see a glow on that front porch and I knew it was you. You were sitting there... listening and watching. You use to tell me that you could just sit here looking and listening all day in this place. I would laugh and tell you that was why you could never get anything accomplished. You sat looking and listening too much. But... somehow... this cabin was built. Somehow it was here and I could see you sitting on the front porch. Again, my heart was full of joy and I made my way down the hillside to tell you what was on my mind. I know it was important because I felt like I HAD to get to you. I saw you sitting there, in that glow and I was almost there. Your hair was so dark and shiny, your eyes were bright and alive. You looked at me and I could feel the warmth and the love coming from those eyes. As I stepped onto the porch... you faded away again. This time, though... the glow was still there and my heart wasn't in despair. I felt like I was missing something, like I had something to tell someone but there was nobody to tell... but it was OK. I had something very special in my heart that nobody could take away.

Then I realized I had just waken up and I was in my bed. The sun was shining and there was snow on the ground. I was in my house but had been taken to a very special place and time, in my dreams. I saw you, Tombo. You were just out of my reach, but you paid me a very special visit and I thank you for that. I know you visit me often, even though I never see you. I can feel you and at times I can smell you. Sometimes it's hard to believe you have gone, but that emptiness I feel sometimes is a reminder that you aren't going to just walk in the door or make that phone call. I'll hang onto this dream, Tombo... and I'll be waiting for the next time I get to see you.

Elaine Morris
Dacula, GA
January, 2011