Ancient Healing Tune
By Laura McHale Holland
Golden clouds collided in a chameleon sky the day everyone walked to the shore. By the hundreds, by the thousands, up and down the coast, moms with hair tied back and toddlers in tow, skateboarders wearing bruises like badges, office workers in suits and dress shoes, young couples with fingers entwined, mechanics in overalls, octogenarians in orthopedic shoes walked, ran, shuffled, danced, biked, drove, skated and slid to the end of the continent.
All electronics powered down, all shops locked their doors, all schools closed early; people gathered on piers, in the sand, on rocks and driftwood and watched the crimson sun set slowly in the west to the sound of songs sung by each one of them in an ancient tongue coming up from the fevered heart of the earth.
Colored shards in the sky shifted rhythm to the music until the moment the sun bled below the horizon. All was still for one slippery minute, and then people’s everyday concerns clenched their minds. In the twilight they disbursed to wend their way home, where all memory of the sunset slid back into the ground.
But sometimes in the night, when people are especially troubled or sad, they return to that afternoon in their dreams, and when they awake, they stretch and smile, unaware as they dress they are humming an ancient healing tune.