Silently the moon hides, the earth is black.
So black you cannot see the hand held in front of your face. The sky opens and the moon winks from behind the clouds offering you the silhouettes of the trees.
The moon likes playing with the earth.
The ground is cold and damp but warms quickly from your body as you sit on a cushion of leaves and dew-laden grass. The crisp pungent odor of earth mingled with fallen leaves rises from the ground – the perfume of the forest. You breathe in, pulling the fragrance deep into your soul. It mixes with your blood, flows through your body filling it with the essence of earth. “From dust you came and to dust shall you return“. You merge with the forest.
You are alive. The forest knows you and it welcomes you.
There is shuffling around you. Night creatures scurry, preparing for rest – day creatures awaken, preparing for forage.
The first hues of autumn orange laced with golden sunbeams silently invade the forest, igniting treetops with a radiant glow, casting long shadows across the forest floor. They are the advance heralds announcing the coming of the day.
Turkeys call from their roosts, high up in the forest canopy, ruffling the sleep from their feathers, telling the forest they too are, welcoming the heralds, preparing for the new day.
A night owl’s screech echoes shrilly through the woods, her call immediately challenged by the gravelly gobble of the turkey, each claiming the same patch of woods as their domain – one to waken and roam, the other to rest and sleep.
The moon slowly fades away into the light of dawn, reluctantly relinquishing its oversight of the world to the sun. The sun rises on the horizon, claiming the title and the forest unfolds before it, shaking off the illusions and mystery of the night. Darkness recedes and the lurking shapes of ominous and foreboding monsters dissolve their sinister cloaks to once again become trees and bushes. Shadows dance keeping time with the sun, playing tricks with your mind.
A black squirrel rises from his sleep, checks his world and then scurries down his tree to scamper across the blanket of crunching leaves between treefalls and stumps, alert for unseen dangers. Soon followed by his grey and brown cousins. They hurriedly fuss and paw in the forest floor pulling out treasures they carry back to their nests for further examination.
Geese fly low overhead, in their sharply defined “V”s, barely clearing the treetops, calling out loudly to one another and to the forest, cautiously searching for fresh-cut fields of grain in which to land and feed.
Crows circle and dart in and out among the trees, their sharp ‘bark-cawing’ echoing their bold presence throughout the forest. A skunk, sporting a distinctive royal stripe the length of his preened tuxedo, hustles nervously back to his borough having tarried too long at the evening’s ball while a chipmunk darts out from under a rotten stump, hoping to reach his destination without tragedy descending on it from above.
It doesn’t and the chipmunk arrives.
You hear the ‘whoosh’ of turkey wings gliding down from their lofty perches, having shaken off the night dew and groomed themselves for the day, followed by the thump of their heavy bodies reuniting with the earth to begin anew their foraging and social rituals. Three deer trot by in front, stopping to paw in the leaves, searching for newly fallen acorns. A mother and her two fawns. They see you, stare, heads held high while they sniff the air, ears alert to your sound. Sensing no threat or danger, they forget you and continue their quest for food and comfort.
Inside you the voice speaks. You don’t know where it comes from. You don’t know why it’s there . You wonder if the deer, the squirrel, the skunk or the turkey hear the voice. Or is it the gift to man that only he hears the voice? You don’t know. But…
… you listen.
Looking out through the trees a new day dawns – spreading its message of hope and promise to the earth.
Looking up through the trees ….
….you see the promise fulfilled.
Enjoy the Earth – We are Visitors and only for a While
and listen to the voice
Until next time – Embrace Life’s Bridges – For They Define Who You Are.