I find my rhythm on a straightaway, digging through a boot deep snow that absorbs my footprints in eclipsing spirals of steam. It’s temporary, the evidence of my trespass into these woods; a metaphor for the life we live. Footprints which will collapse into forever before too long, but meaningful ones in the moment.
The moment. This hike is one long draw of ’em.
I glean my understandings from the visceral testimonies accorded me out here. A jagged wall of rocks, loosed from the ground by a beckoning ridge whose clench of earth provides the rocks with a mighty presence. There is a gathering of small trees that almost forms a perfect circle, as if the seeds of one mother who endeavored to leave her artistic invention for those who happen along this stretch. There is a clearing, it is maybe fifty yards wide. I step to the edge and look down on a one way ticket tumble that is a couple hundred yards deep and thick with trees and rocks. The view from here is a tapestry of what forever must look like.
That boiling caterwaul of a world is a million miles away from this sovereign shallow of beasts and pines and equine songs. The trees surround, embrace and speak to me. Their welcome is a tenuous one, yet earnest. They promise me nothing, they give me everything- the paradox of Mother Nature. The mosaic of their mighty branches rises triumphantly . . like children raised by the sun, whose veins bleed an eternal bath; whose pleading roots beg for mercy from the depths; whose breaths are a million screaming prayers; whose life has been prophesied from old books, scavenged from the particles of God and nurtured from the womb of miraculous ascents. Its deliverance is a savagely beautiful iteration.
The woods possess no conceit, they simply are. The overcast morning works in concert with the highest reaching trees to produce an oddly serene dynamic; making me feel like an insect crawling along the bottom of a saucer covered in pin pricked wax paper. I am small to the great big everything. The wind is a perpetual blanket of mayhem, reminding me of the lessons I have not yet learned.
These woods have been shrunken down to the size of my wishes. These woods have been magnified infinitesimally to the size of my dreams. These woods are my proverbs . . pleading miracles that absorb everything within their reach.
I drink in the scotch of this union, smiling. My heart is beating steadily; excited by the honest work, the handsome scenery and the answers to all the secrets that really matter. These secrets are spoken in the language of moments. The greatest of all possible gifts is the one I borrowed for the space of three hours time, in woods so deep and dark and lovely. This gift is such a simple thing that we oftentimes never-mind its value. But this gift . . it’s the only gift we are ever going to need.
It’s the chance.