We’d finally had rain. I was standing in a clearing on the heavily forested mountain.  Though the drought had been brief, I had been worried.  My house is made of old wood and sits amid the oaks – forest fires are worrisome.

I took a deep breath and felt the week’s stress being expelled with my exhale and the day’s fragrance of much needed rain inhaled bringing a sense of well-being.  I felt my inner compass shift to true north.  I was where I needed to be when I needed to be there.  At ease, relaxed, and enjoying the silence save that of the bird song.  I should make this walk a part of my daily routine. I vowed to do so.  But I’ve made this vow before.  Real life has such a hold on me.  I really do need to make more room for the magic and peace inherent in my surroundings.  I was fortunate to live in a forest and I should maximize it. But there are so many shoulds in my life.  It’s hard to accommodate them all.

The sky was vivid orange and pink and red, the mountains their characteristic blue. Early settlers had referred to these mountains as the blue wall – thought to be impenetrable and yet it is here that I live. The sunset over the far ridge was luscious.    I walked over to the big flat rock outcropping and sat, my feet dangling over the mountain.  The rock was still damp from the day’s much needed rain and my jeans were now muddy.  “Shhh,” I told myself. “You have a washing machine.”

My inner adult clamored for me to go home.  Walking in the forest when it was dark was too challenging for me.  I have little sense of direction and will be sure to get lost.

I told her to shush.  My inner child grinned.

The sun slipped behind the ridge and twilight was upon me.  I sighed and got up to begin the walk home.  As I entered the first copse of trees, I spotted an owl.  The first one I had ever seen in the flesh.  What an animal!  I will remember always that owl.  Silent, staring at me – his head rotating slowly to follow me.  As he slipped out of my field of vision, I heard him hoot.  That sound summed up my day.  It had been a hoot. Suffused with happiness, my walk gained purpose.  I would surely get lost in the dark, but it would be okay.  Things work out.  They do.  I’ve seen it happen too many times.

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