Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Promise of Peace

Today, I go to the mountains looking for the peace that I know is waiting. I am ready. It has been promised.

The temperature is perfect for this walk. Translucent waters tumble around the trail side stream. I hear the melody of the birds. I am drawn to the luminous green of the lichen against tree trunks. Running tips of fingers over the tiny forest, enjoying the feel.

The skies have grown dim, since an evening storm is approaching. A stillness settles over the land. My footsteps along the trail have even grown silent in awe of this tranquility. I am mystified at how profound the silence is.

The creek has become very low. I make my way onto a gray slab of rock in the middle of the water that has been exposed, watching tiny fish dart here and there. Soon, I rejoin the trail.

The wind has began to murmur through the treetops. This is the only place that I have been able to observe sound. I watch this sound move toward me, the rustle of the leaves soothing.

Moving along, the sight of lavender buds painted against jade on a gray tree trunk are pleasing to the senses. The grooves on the tree trunk beg me to run my hands down it's texture.

My pace slows even further. Roots emerge from the middle of the trail. I try to find the tree that they lead to, but am unsure. I study the hill to my left and gaze down into the dell on my right, afraid I will miss a miracle.

The curve in the trail ahead draws me with the mystery of what lies around the bend, even though I have traveled this trail many times. The scent of a splintered tree trunk reaches me. I am enjoying this solitude so.

The sky has become eerily dark. The stillness much more present now than before. Raindrops began to kiss my skin. The rush of wind has become my steady companion. In this rush, I hear the mountain murmuring that it is time for me to go, before it becomes unsafe. Heeding it's warning, I turn away, but not before whispering ~ thank you ~ for the protection and peace that is has graced me with this day.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Searching for Solitude

As is usual, when she enters her sanctuary, she is alone. This time, the atmosphere replicates her mood. The skies are turbulent. Rain soaked trees appear as furious slashes in the dim air. The green of the leaves are of a deep shade, a shade found only in the darkest of imaginations.
Today, she is here, not for fun, adventure or beauty. She came for the solitude. Knowing what she is here for, the mountains do not attempt to offer peace. Instead, they weep with her. Her cheeks are smudged with the tears of the Smokies. Skin dampened, she hugs her arms to her body as the chill deepens.
Carefully, she makes her way down the rock strewn path. Knowing that one misstep could produce even more pain. Coming upon the creek, she stops short. The stepping stones that she had previously used are now underwater. She walks the bank, searching for a way to get to the other side. She realizes that she is at a dead end. Her way is blocked. She turns around and finds another path. Heading down it, she hopes for the same solitude.
The forest is dark and foreboding. Silence reigns, save for the steady drumbeat of the rain. She begins the climb she has reached. The path disappears as it makes a turn ahead. She is left wondering where it will take her, what lies ahead.
In the distance, she hears a whisper rapidly becoming a roar. Lifting her eyes, she sees treetops ahead begin to stir. Closer and closer, it moves. She follows the path of the coming wind, knowing that heavier rain is coming with it, but is helpless to stop it. It makes it's way to her, drenching her, then moving on.
She stops midtrail and makes a slow turn. Everywhere she looks, she sees the tangle of downed trees from a prior windstorm. Upturned, splintered roots, giants fallen, yet there is still a grace in this chaos.
Through the gloom, the soft lavender of trailside flowers glow. Boulders in the path are surrounded by ferns in delicate shades of green. The mountain treasure is revealed, even in the darkness. Subtle beauty is offered, not as cheer , but as comfort. Letting her know, when she is ready, it awaits.
For the mountain knows that at these times, she does not need to be told that it will get better. She simply needs it to be there, to listen, to understand . Today, they listened.