Setting foot onto the path, I can see change in the land. Much time has passed, since I was last here. As seasons of life bring change, the season of winter has changed this mountain trail.
Turning my head, side to side, I take in the differences in the land. The view from the trail has been altered by many felled trees. A familiar landscape, yet unfamiliar. I sense movement in this foreign landscape. Searching for the source, I see my shadow making it's way through the forest beside me.
Farther down the trail, I see the streams, that cross the path. There has, always, been joy in the challenge of making my way across them. With time, the path across the creeks may change. Rocks and logs may shift;but, always, there's a way.
I notice a new stream, a new pathway carved across the trail by winter. I reach for a broken branch lying by the trail and easily make my way across rocks, using the branch, as support. I continue on to streams I've crossed many times, before. As I approach, I search for the stepping stones through the stream. This, too, has become unfamiliar. I scan the creek, slowly, this time. Again, I see nothing to aid in crossing. This season of winter, of life, was too harsh. I am unequipped to forge this creek.
I walk the stream for a ways in each direction, hoping to find a place to cross. This point, to where I have made it, is the base of the largest climb. The ascent would have begun after crossing this last stream. The lay of the land at the base forms a small cove. The hill begins it's climb on either side. To my left, a rock bank lines the cove. I make my way into this shelter and choose a fallen tree to rest upon.
Setting my pack on the ground and leaning the branch that I had used as a walking stick against the log, I take a seat. The tree still holds the moisture from the recent rains. After sitting for some time, the evening's chill begins to set in. The sun is sinking behind the trees and the creek carries a breeze. Thankful, that I had thought to bring an extra shirt, I untie it from my waist and slip it over my head.
I sit and listen to the creek's flow. The gentle sound of the waters soothe, deeply. In this soothing chill, this "quiet", I study the rock wall to my side. It is, almost, cavelike in it's formation. I have, always, been drawn to this cove and to this rock lined wall, but have never paused long, before today. I decide to stay awhile.
I have been on this trail in all seasons. Through winter, when snowflakes began to fall, gathering on lashes, like gazing through fields of diamonds. Through the heat of summer, when sweat trickled down back's hollow. When spring flowers were budding in shades of lavender.
I have written from this trail before. "The Journey" was the name that became of the notes scrawled here, that day. It was a different season, an autumn day. Again, life's seasons had made it's mark. Fallen leaves had, so heavily, covered the forest floor. I did not realize I had crossed the trail I was seeking. I, nearly, became lost. I, finally, listened to what the mountains were telling me. Telling me that is was time to stop. So intent, was I, on "my path" that I missed the signs I was given. Thankfully, in that season, I made my way back safely.
Today, I thought to write, as well. To write of poetry. So many feelings, inside. Both beautiful and painful emotions. Unable to tell them apart, as they all carry the same sweet scent of beauty. For this, I am grateful.
I thought to write of poetry. Instead, I wrote of my experience of finding my way through new places in old lands carved by change. I wrote of the damp chill in the air causing me to seek warmth. I wrote of gentle sounds soothing my spirit. I wrote of the past, of the present. I did not write of the future, as I am uncertain of it, as I am of these new lands.
I thought to write of poetry.
Instead, I wrote of change.
I wrote of seasons.