We have forgotten how to be good guests, how to walk lightly on the earth as other creatures do.
Good day, my friend.
One of the most memorable experiences I ever had while hiking in a forest happened many years ago in the middle of the night.
The many hours spent in the White Mountain National Forest had given me a great respect for the creatures who live there. I learned to admire how the chipmunks could silently move across the fallen leaves, how the squirrels could charge up a tree at the speed of lightening, how the bats could fly noiselessly as if the were black leaves being blown by the wind,
I admired how the large birds could sail between the thick branches of the trees, how the rustling of leaves on the ground nearby when there was no wind would reveal a snake that had crawled under them to escape being seen and that when I saw the hoof prints on the trail I would know that a moose had passed there recently.
I saw the deer running through the brush, their little white tails bobbing up and down. I heard the splash of the frogs in the water as I approached. When I came to a clearing where there were wild flowers, I saw the insects going about their business. And sometimes I would see something pop up from behind a rock and dip back down again so fast I couldn't catch what it was.
I have written before about my trip down Tremont Mountain, most of which I had to do in the dark because I had mistimed my journey, Near the end of that hike there was a small brook that had to be crossed, It was a very dark night, There was no moon. I knew that on the other side of the brook there was only a short, half hour walk to my car so I decided to sit down by the brook before I crossed it, rest and have a cigarette. I turned off my flashlight and set it down, put down my stick and my back pack, took out my cigarettes and my matches.
I had large, kitchen matches. When I struck one I saw that all around me for as far as I could see there were eyes looking at me: large eyes, small eyes, round eyes, squinty eyes, tiny dots of eyes close together, big droopy eyes far apart. It was as if every creature in the neighborhood had called a truce to whatever hostility they had with each other and all came out to find out what this being was that had invaded their territory. I had absolutely no inkling that there were any animals around, I didn't hear a sound. But they sure heard me.
Of course, as fast as they could they disappeared. I finished my cigarette, got across the brook and made it home with no further contact with wild life. But I won't forget the night when I was the talk of the forest.
Spend some joy today.
THIS IS NOT A CONTEST
What do you think was the most important event of 2008? and
What was the most significant event in your life last year?
You have all Spring to answer if you wish.
15 responses so far.
Leave answers on my email firstname.lastname@example.org or on my journal
http://vagabondjourneys.blogspot.com/. Thank you. DB