Saturday, April 25, 2009

Unexpected Uncovering 4/25/09

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.

Vagabond Journeys
Spend some joy today.


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 or on my journal Thank you. DB



Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

First part of you entry sounds just like our refuge, Nutwood :o)

Anne said...

You were so brave. I'm such a "girl!" I would have cried my eyes out and then thrown a hissy fit.....surley terrifing all of the creatures surrounding me. GREAT story D.B. Anne

Beth said...

Your description made me think of a scene in "Pee Wee's Big Adventure." Yes, it's a silly movie...but I love it! Pee Wee is in the wilderness, and it's pitch black. He puts on some super duper glasses he got from the magic store, ones that allow you to see in the dark, and he's surrounded by all kinds of critters, including lions and tigers. :) It's very silly, but always makes me laugh!

Hugs, Beth

Rose~* said...

Sounds just like home in my neck of the woods. Great story, DB!

Janice said...

For the beauty of the earth
And for you for reminding me of it.

Michelle said...

Oh, my... First of all, thank you for always visiting me and leaving comments. I miss you.

Second, WOW. I am so afraid of being outdoors at night anyway, and just the thought of being out in the wilderness like that absolutely terrifies me. BUT, I LOVED your story, and felt the magic within the moment, and it didn't seem quite so scary after all.

Still... Better you than me.



Joyce said...

Uhhhh, the dark? I would have been out of there so fast nothing could have caught me. On second thought, I wouldn't have been there in the first the dark. You made it sound so peaceful and beautiful until we got to the eyes part.
Hugs, Joyce