the birthday of my big brother passed quietly. he would have been 72. as always, it was a day fraught with a mix of sadness and memory, a recipe for some light-stepping, a sobering reminder that the things i was angsting about that day – and there were many – were truly of little consequence.
the river trail greeted us at the end of day. we needed a walk in the woods.
“i only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, i found, was really going in.” (john muir)
our breathing slowed down, despite our best efforts to bring the layers of anxiety with us. it would be better to just be silent, i thought to myself.
nature hung up prayer flags on our route and i’m now sure that i should have hung prayers on each one. i think that is why they are there…to mark each and every soul on this good planet, alive or floating…to give us a place to put our worries, like a clothesline of hopeful…to take our breath away with color and life.
the officer was in the parking lot as we approached littlebabyscion. somehow the sun had fallen all the way past the horizon while we were on the outskirts of the trail and darkness filled in the gaps. we know the trail well and kept hiking, followed the baby fox for a bit and, then, the sounds of wildlife in the forest accompanied us the rest of the way. he told us that others might have cited us for being there past sundown. but he didn’t. we thanked him and apologized, saying it was a surprise how quickly light became dark, how we had become lost in time.
i’m sure that the prayer flag leaves clapped, fuchsia burst into laughter, green grinned. the woods – the sundown – had done their jobs well.