where the writers are
Tiny Harmonica

The best thing I ever found was a tiny one-inch-long harmonica at Tuolumne Meadows, embedded in the sand next to the Tuolumne bridge that traverses the Tuolumne River. The moniker, “harmonica” had been attached to my name ages ago, Monika, by my old Geometry instructor Mr. Flynn, who, in his darling Boston accent, would call out “harmoniker,” referring to my inattention, while he miraculously erased the board with the right elbow patch on his tweed coat and, at the same time, and with the same arm, writing new material on the board simultaneously while erasing the old.  Never mind the theorems - the magic of erasing and then creating numbers at breakneck speed was utter magic. Years forward, the one-inch harmonica in the sand, attached to a tiny chain, sporting three reed holes, would take me back to the days when a teacher could throw the chalk at you for missing the answer, and not get sued by a parent. At the river, I tested the three-hole sound, a resounding and high-pitched “scree” -- which added to the river burble and the distant murmur of a pair of lovers’ voices dangling over the bridge. The remembrance of the sound pulls up the image of the nearby grey boulders, shoulder to shoulder, silent against the late morning splash of blue sky. 

 I lost the harmonica to the sands of unknown places, the three holes in the spheres, somewhere, still blown into, a perpetual harmony.