Feature

The Signs of Silence

Many Have Glimpsed a Mystery in the Quiet Intervals

by Steven Faulkner

Sitting on a limestone outcropping on a summer night, my skinny boy arms wrapped around the worn knees of my jeans, an old bolt-action Marlin twenty-two my father gave me lying beside me in the prairie grass, I was watching the moonlit valley below and listening to the wind. Beyond that little valley, the Flint Hills of northeast Kansas rolled away beneath a pale night sky flecked with a few faint stars. Above the hills, the south moon was rising impossibly large, a pitted limestone wheel.

I was ten or eleven, in love even then with the summer wind—the steady, warm blowing that was traveling from somewhere . . .

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Steven Faulkner teaches creative writing at Longwood University in southern Virginia. He is the author of Waterwalk: A Passage of Ghosts (2007) and Bitterroot: Echoes of Beauty and Loss (2016). Both books are memoirs of father-son journeys that followed the paths of missionary priests: Marquette (in Waterwalk) and De Smet (in Bitterroot).

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