Kanu's face took on a stare, eyes fixed on a imaginary point way off in the distance.
Tension and the frown that had unknowingly consumed his face began ever so slightly to ebb away....his mouth started to open as the muscles in his jaw unclenched his teeth.
A moment of peace began to wash over him, consume him, a moment to reflect on what had become the most intense day of his life.
A man lost in the desert who finds a brackish pool will drink without hesitation as if consuming the most heavenly brew and he will ignore all other stimuli until satiated. This was Kanu and freedom was his water.
Only the warm breeze on his skin and the sounds of nature penetrated the his moment of stunned tranquility.... How can 10 years of confinement feel so trivial an so short, feel as if it were only a blink, a mere flash in an otherwise empty imagination.
This, Kanu thought, was a 'day of days' where time had seemed to travel so slowly. Every moment of his escape, every breath he'd taken, all those faces, all those voices and smells of life that were taken for granted by free men and women, all the movements he'd made, all the things he thought he'd forgotten forever that had allowed him to eventually blend in the background and escape flashed before his eyes in minute detail. His mind, his under stimulated mind had surprised him he thought. After all this time I am still whole.
The images and sounds continued to fire and flash before his staring eyes becoming ever more disjointed, the way they would for you or I when asked to recount exactly what had just happened, gaps began to appear and he felt his forearms loosen an his fists begin to unclench, he exhaled again and shoulders dropped and that which his eyes had stared so blankly at began to focus and realize, his surroundings becoming clearer the images slowed and more and more of the forest came into back into view.
Awake now, awake again, his blank gaze had been focused but he'd not been able to see it. His gaze had been focused on something important, that which had brought him back from the brink of insanity and despair. It was the Bird.
The bird eyed him and cocked its head first one way then the other the little black eye showed no emotion but no matter, the birds manner and movement more than made up for its lack of a human eye. It was perched on the lowest branch of a chestnut oak.... still looking, cocking its head and ruffling its feathers....waiting for him, waiting for him to respond.
Kanu looked down at his hand and back at the bird, he realized that his hand had been slowly extending toward the waiting bird, extending without any real thought to do so from him almost as if the bird wished it.