Saturday, November 9, 2013

Breath of the Forest

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Crunch, crunch, like crinkled paper, dry leaves now carpet the forest floor. These are the days when trail disappears beneath leaf, and a hiker must be careful not to wander and lose the trail. All the crispy, crunchy leaves make ordinary walking extraordinarily noisy. Tramping through ankle-deep potato chips wouldn't be any louder.

I stop for a moment and listen for the call of forest untrodden. All seems quiet for a moment, but this lasts only briefly. A chipmunk clucks a warning of my presence through the hollow. Still attached leaves rattle together. A raucous crow calls to himself in the distance. A breeze stirs and leaves remaining in high branches whisper to one another.

DSCN2766 It feels good to be still and listen—just to sit and listen and let the sounds of the forest wash over me. The sound of the wind in the trees takes on a life of its own, rising and falling, ebbing and flowing. Like the water in a mountain stream, the flowing air and its joyous song become one thing. Sometimes barely a tremble, sometimes building layer upon layer until sounding remarkably like a distant waterfall, the wind is not inanimate; it is alive.

A cool breeze touches my cheek and then fills my lungs, refreshing body and spirit alike. With no conscious thought, I utter aloud my praise and thanksgiving for this day, and I celebrate the truth that Wind and Breath and Spirit are one.

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