The Thunderbird & The Battleground

Wic's ThunderbirdI rambled a bit today. First I wandered south of Kings Mountain to the mechanics shop where my Thunderbird has been for the last five months. When I first got there, the shop owner, Shane, wasn’t there, so I couldn’t find out anything about it. They said he’d run out for lunch.
So … I headed south to the Kings Mountain Battleground. I wasn’t intending to get out of the car, but once I reached Lake Crawford and realized there was no one there, I parked. I wandered down to the bath-house, without any real intent. It suprised me that I didn’t feel anything. As much as this place has meant to me at various times in my life, I might as well have been walking across the parking lot of a truck stop. Gravel. Stone walls. Sun. Wind. Lake. Ho hum. It made no impression upon me whatsoever. I sat down on the steps leading down to the lake, and was not surprised that I wasn’t feeling anything. Just another day in the life. Another location. I’ve long since given up on special moments, and didn’t expect that this would be one.
But all the same, I sat there for awhile. I didn’t think about anything. It was reflexive to just sit there. Listen. Stop thinking. After a while I began to hear the wind in the trees. Feel it upon my skin. I watched the light dancing across the surface of the water. Watched a couple of geese noodling around on the lake. Mostly I just stared at the water. Looked into the forest on the other side of the lake, tracing the trails there, which I once walked. I didn’t sit there long, but I began to feel some vague sense of what this place used to mean to me. Just a hint of it.
I finally got up and wandered down to the dam. If nothing else, I thought I should pay my respects to the boulder that damaged my knee. I went down the trail to the stream that flows from the dam. Looked into it. Listened for distant murmuring of voices that I could always hear in the sound of the running water. But mostly I was harassed by gnats. I glance at the dam. Yes. It’s pretty and all. So I started back up the trail. I saluted the boulder on my way, and went back to the car.
When I got back to the car I was very short of breath. I’m about 75 lbs heavier now that I was the last time I was here. It made me realize that walking in the Battleground on the weekends would be a great way to lose weight. Assuming I ever solve my transportation problem. Assuming I ever get off my ass and go down there.
I left feeling nothing, really. I had my moment. Felt that vague twinge of recognition. But I was fully aware that it would take more than one quick visit to start rolling the proverbial stones back up the hill. The only thing I really felt was a strong desire to come back. We’ll have to wait and see about that.
After I left, I went back to the mechanic shop. Shane was there this time. We talked a bit about the Thunderbird. He took me out and started it, and let her roar a bit. It was wonderful to hear the old girl roar, and I told him so. As bad as she looks, he thinks the car is certainly salvageable. In fact, he’s of the opinion that she’s roadworthy now. Just needs a tag. Hmmm. Well, ok. I got nowhere to put her, so I’ll be working on that. But it’s good to make at least a few steps.
I left feeling positive about things. Not giddy with excitement. Just … I dunno. The proverbial sun has yet to shine, but I peeled back a few layers of shadow today. That’s something. Maybe sometime during the summer I can drive back to the Battleground in the Thunderbird. Maybe at that point I’ll feel like I’ve begun to come full circle, and that life holds some sense of hope and possibility, after all.
But that’s tomorrow. Today is driving back to Mama’s apartment and twiddling my thumbs, wasting away another day and watching the date on the calendar move closer and closer to going back to work.

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