Deep in the forest of southern Missouri, our entourage dismounted. Rangers in tall hats were loitering. They sniffed us through thick dark glasses. Like hungry wolves they watched as we geared up for our journey. It was a show of strength but we were not fearful. The canopy was calling and we passed in peace. Car doors shut. Keys were skillfully buried. Water bottles capped full and hung from bandanas. Like wet peaches, the forest swallowed us effortlessly.
Miles of branches acted as turnstiles leading us to the edge of the makeshift camp. The first child I spotted was a tall thin man in his twenties. He wore a stud collar and sagged tighty whiteys. Emerged, he circled his tent with a commitment. He was a child of the rainbow. Speechless, I passed him by. Our group was dissolving without notice, each of us alone in our buffet of vision. Crossing a stream, I could hear her humming. She was knee-deep in mud and cleaner than rain. Ahead lounged her sister, pregnant and stunning, daisies pooling in her fingers. A fat man draped in a congregation was preaching. “Be Here Now!”, over-and-over again. Walking sticks, intricate with experience, held hands with their makers and sunk holes in the ground forever. Everywhere I looked there were children of the rainbow.
That night a fire was burning as big as a mountain. A circle of drums came booming like thunder. My soul rattled myself loose from its grip. I saw love’s rhythm soar so high the moon was reaching. We were one as I became nothing. All my wishes cooked true. For in a sudden crescendo, my chest erupted like a raging volcano, and I was reborn. I ran through that bright night a naked hyena, laughing and playing. Born again, me, this new child of the rainbow.
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