The Green Man
When I heard a rustling in the brush, I expected to see a doe, possibly with a fawn, considering the time of year. I prepared my camera, ready to aim. But there you were instead, with that aha look on your face.
“How did you find me?”
“I read everything you wrote. Studied your photos. Mapped public computers with Internet access. You send your work from somewhere close. Less than a day’s hike away.”
“Was this your first guess?”
“More like my fiftieth. I’ve been looking for you for a long time. These woods are thick.”
I went into my tent, brought out my best canvas chair, even added a soft pillow for your back. I handed you a notebook filled with my latest stories, photos stuffed between the pages. Bless you, you never asked a single question, just quietly turned the pages as you read. I watched your facial expressions change from interest to intensity to grief to wonder. Once you even chuckled.
A comfortable hour went by. I wrote a few lines, took several closeups of wild Solomon Seals and Trilliums in bloom, wrote a few more lines. Tomorrow I would send the new chapters with illustrative pictures to my publisher, who would notify a host of activists, politicians and Green investors.
Our shared silence was bringing us closer than five years of marriage had done. I marveled at the changes in you.
Finally you closed my notebook and reached in your backpack to draw out a scrapbook of newspaper clippings.
“Beloved Professor Leaves Academia to Chronicle Woodland Life”
“Tales from an Endangered World Becomes #1 NY Times Best Seller”
“Green Man Influences Government Decisions”
“Modern-day Thoreau and His Walden Woods”
“Prof Disappears but Enthralls World With Weekly Writings”
“Why are you here?” I asked.
“To join forces again. Thought you might need a Green Woman.” The last time you looked that radiant was on our honeymoon.
I slipped into the tent and brought out a camera that was the twin of mine, and a blank notebook inscribed with an invitation. “Dearest Liesel – let’s save the planet – together!”