#44 The Hum by Leslie Myers

Our tour guide tells us there is a hum in the air here,
In northern New Mexico; he asks us to tell him when we hear it.

He tells stories as we travel along in the bus, monologues in a mellow voice
That often puts me to sleep. I struggle to stay alert for that humm
And for his stories too; I don’t want to miss any of it.

The bus begins to add a new sound: ba-dum ba-dum, louder, ever louder.

Our guide’s gentling monologue about what we see out our windows
Shifts in subject but stays sweet and soft: “Humm We may have a flat tire….
Hummm There are several options….Hummmm Mr. Bus Driver, what do you think?
That is when I first begin to wonder: Could the hummmmmm be coming from our guide?

The driver is up against a hard decision on this narrow road; stopping is difficult
With all these walking, praying pilgrims. Somehow he does it.

Slowly, we all pile out of the bus and the pilgrims on foot wind around us,
And around our beached-in-the-desert, whale-of-a-bus.
They are heading for the miracle place, Chimayo Sanctuario.
One struggles along carrying a cross larger than he is.
One family passes us taking turns pushing a wheelchaired child.

The day is cool, the sun is brilliant, and my 93-year-old fellow traveler,
Huddling with me in the only small patch of shade there is,
Agrees with me that we know what’s good for us, and maybe the others out in the sun don’t.

Standing with her in our shared space of shade and peacefulness I begin to think
About what is good for me. I see this about today: Good Friday, 2011, is a day of circling-back.
Twenty-one years ago today I left my first husband after a quarter century together.
Nineteen years ago today I found the love of my middle years, the one I miss, still.
And last year today I left a man I cannot describe without feeling pain.

I ask myself: “What’s happening here?” and I hear only “Hummmmmmm.”

Leslie Myers painted most of her life, and recently began writing. Raised in Minnesota, she raised her own young family on the east coast and worked as a nurse/psychologist. Now retired, she lives in both Santa Fe, NM and Boulder, CO. She says, “Both inspire me, in strikingly different ways.”

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