As you may have guessed from the photos over the last several days, I was away this weekend: I went northward to visit Cherished Friend. It is always reassuring to see him, for despite time and distance, he is, as always, ineffably himself. Knowing that he is Constant, makes easier the thought that someday (and perhaps sooner rather than later), he may move farther away. I will not contemplate that possibility in detail yet; rather, I will take the future as it comes. That is all anyone can ever do, really.
While I was up north, we took the opportunity to do some hiking in a lovely state park. The trees -- oh, the trees. Living in the desert as I do, I forget how much I miss the forest -- until I am in the midst of the trees. There were mysterious birch trees: not quite the same as the paper birch of the New England of my youth, but still light-barked and stretching high into the air. There were evergreens, too. And moss, and lichen, and patches of snow, and leaf litter. A crow. Orange and black butterflies. A snowmelt-fed stream.
There is something so very soothing about the forest: the quiet, the distant woodpecker, the trickle of water, and the scent of pine. Time stands still. In this busy, busy world, the forest is transcendent. We should all spend more time there.
I did not take nearly as many pictures as I thought I had; yet I do not need many photos, for the forest was so permeating, it seems as though it soaked all the way to my core. If I close my eyes, I can be there again for a moment. And for now, that is enough.