Friday, November 30, 2007

Winter Walks

I live in a beautiful place.

About a block from my home there is a path into an old growth forest. Hemlocks, cedars and Douglas firs rise majestically around the small winding paths. Every time I go for a walk (which I try to do every sunny day) I feel like I've been transported into a magical world. The trees have throttled out almost all the undergrowth in the really deep parts of the forest, so you can see the rows upon rows of trunks, surrounding you for as far as you can see. It feels as if you have entered the huge, pillared hall of a European basilica. The sun can't quite peak through all the branches, and so everything is bathed in a warm green light. Moss covers nearly every surface, adding to the feeling of warmth and age.
This is the place where fairy tales happen. This is where the great adventurers find their deeds of courage and love. This is the worship place of the ancient Celts. This is sacred ground.
Then, when you are convinced that the land couldn't be any more beautiful, you come to a clearing at the crest of a hill. Out before you a wide vista arises, displaying snow-capped mountains glittering in the sun, entrancing you with their distant song. Your heart breaks with the beauty, the desire, and the joy of it all.
You pray, you praise, you worship. Not because you intended to, but because it explodes out without warning, bubbling up, flooding over your soul.
Then, inevitably, the moment passes. You remember that paper that you should be writing. You remember the duties of home. You remember the chores that await you there. Slowly, unwillingly, you turn to leave.
But not for long. You will soon return to this place of mystery and wonder.
But that will be another day.

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