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, in 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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