The Citadel III

I found myself walking in a wilderness where people had once lived.

The road I was on, once proudly paved with cobblestones, was overgrown with weeds.

It was raining lightly, just enough that I could smell the languid threat of lightning.

At a place that seemed halfway between where I’d come from and where I was going, I stopped to catch my bearings.

There was a house close to me, with a tree growing in what once had been a living room.

We humans are arrogant.

We believe we can sweep nature aside.

Nature is always waiting.

Nature reclaims the moment we turn our heads, twisting and choking and devouring.

This house was being swallowed back up.

This house had once been a home.

Now it was just a pile of stones, alone and abandoned in the valley near a hill that was there long before it, and would be there long after me.

And on the hill there was a citadel, stretching high into the sky.

I stretched to look into the highest windows, but there was only darkness.

There had been dreams there, once.

Now, only silence.

I looked back down the road, then turned and continued on my way.

— Clio, 04.14.21

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