I'm up early this Sunday morning, and I have the house just the way I like it at the start of the day : to myself and quiet. Yesterday Miss Bit and I hit our favorite trails. I was feeling cranky, and I knew that time with her out in nature would lift my spirits. We dressed for the wind we could hear howling outside our windows, but it was a southwestern wind : warm and without a bite. It didn't feel like deep fall, but it sure looked like almost winter. Naked birches, bare oaks and uncovered maples lined the paths looking so exposed and fragile next to their thick needled pine neighbors. We held onto our hats when the wind whipped and roared through the forest. I closed my eyes and listened to each gale build and then crest over the trees and I pictured a typhoon. That is what it must sound like I decided. I said more than one prayer for the people in the Philippines. The barren trunks creaked and moaned as they swayed back and forth and forth and back. It felt like we were eavesdropping on ancient, private conversations spoken in languages we will never decipher like whale song or dolphin speak. A lone towering trunk acquiesced and ended up on the forest floor. I understood immediately why they are called widow makers. It was loud and close enough to scare Miss Bit so she took off running and snagged her toe on a century old root that snaked across the path. She went flying and landed in such a way as to get the wind knocked out of her and scare her even more. After we huddled together for a few minutes on the edge of the ravine, I asked her if she felt better. "I just feel so bad for that tree," my Miss Tender Heart confessed. While consoling her, I caught a glimpse of a doe and a buck cavorting on the other side of the ravine. It is the rut so that could explain it, but it also makes me wonder what we miss by always moving, going, seeking...what we miss by not stopping and being still from time to time. We are always on the quest...hunting, tracking, searching. What if we just wait and see what comes to us, or notice what is already here?
She climbed the tower for an above the canopy view at my request and then we headed down to the beach at hers. While she built a cairn and searched for heart-shaped stones, I looped a quick trail just to keep moving. The irony of the fact that I walked straight into the path of a young buck was not lost on me as I hurried along my route going going going. We were few feet apart.. How many? I'm not certain. I'm horrible with distance. I came to an abrupt halt when I saw him. The kind that messes with the laws of motion so I was all limbs- akimbo- for a moment. A moment in which he moved not away, but toward me. He eyed me long enough for me to feel a little entranced is his molten stare. I felt humbled by our silent conversation. And then he simply turned and sauntered off not the least bit spooked When I met Miss Bit on the beach, she was just excited that she found a stone for my collection. It may be one of my favorite hearts too. We walked down to the trampoline trees so she could bounce for a few minutes. We talked about the marvel of it all. The way the trunks grow horizontally out of the bluff, the way the changing tide leaves shelves in the sand, the way we have witnessed this place change from season to season, the way the trails are different, but always beautiful, the way being here makes us feel connected...connected to each other and everything. The way that when we are here we share our own secret language.