I can hear only the wind. It snakes its way through the hills leaving fugitive trails in the shifting yellow grass. It cannot touch me here,┬áin the lee of this rock. Two, no – maybe three times taller than me, this weathered crag dominates my landscape. Its scars speak to years on guard; it was here long before me, will be long after. For a moment – silence – and I forget. I forget… Then, I shift and feel a pain in my sole and choke on the oppressive heat and I am out and I am exposed and it finds me.

And I remember.

I remember commitments half-made, values surrendered, work half-done.
I remember promises, and I remember failures.

I remember people.

A voice reaches me across the distance. I turn, and walk away.

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