Jan. 2001


    Have you ever spent time with just trees, leaves and birds? I have many times with family, friends, and alone. Feeling at harmony with myself, at home in the celestial peace of the forests of this wonderful country. I wish to share all of my surroundings with you.
   On one such past time, I was heading down the leaf-strewn path. The soft, muffled pop of the leaves under my feet, wet from a fresh rain. The trees, almost bare after the coming of autumn, stood still. But seemed to wave like a woman bidding farewell to her beloved. A log lay on the path, green from fungi and sprouts growing on its surface. More green sprouts grow on more fallen logs, giving me the sensation of spring and fall as one.
    The river, muddy but dry, was waiting to be filled to its shores with rushing water. But all it had received were puddles. Dead leaves floated on the water, the path, everywhere. I looked up and a leaf fell onto my face, the scent of life and aging freshness was all over.
    My nose tingled from the freshness in the air. The trees let off fumes of life, but a sense of age and loss as well. The ground was wet after the rain. A root felt like a turtle after a swim, wet and rough. A branch brushed me, pricking me as I passed by. Freshness was overwhelming my tongue as it passed through my nostrils. I slipped on the muddy bank of the river, and received a mouth full of mud! A tree had fallen over the bank, its roots grabbing the wall like a clawed hand. As I got to my feet I noticed another tree was entangled in branches, making a high wire maze for squirrels.
    I saw a particular tree, it looked like an olden day gallows, and a branch was entangled in others like a freshly hung thief. Another tree's leaves hung like bats, making the tree look foreboding. Gray, green, red, yellow, tan, and golden leaves lay all over.
    Birds and crickets chirped in the distance. Among the trees I felt like a lone deer listening for approaching predators. I walked over a bridge, and it creaked under my weight. The birds sang out, celebrating the coming of day, saying good-bye to their grown hatchlings. I hear a vroom of a truck, reminding me that people still live close by.
    As the leaves fell like rain off the trees over my head, the clouds made shapes as the wind moved them across the sky. Birds sang and trees whispered a sweet good-bye. I walked under a canopy of trees like a gateway to lead me out of the magical place. Though I have said good-bye to that place, my journey is not over. Is yours?

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The above article was submitted by my twelve year old Granddaughter Cassia. She, with her family, just moved to Ohio from windswept Wyoming. This experience so reminded me of the Great Park at Windsor Castle in England, where I grew up, that I appreciated just how she felt in this new environment that brought her closer to Gods wonderful world. PJR

Apr. 2001