Thursday, March 3, 2016

Hiking solo

Lost Dog
It is in my nature to be extremely conscious of my surroundings everywhere that I go, which is why I was so startled when the black dog with the red collar appeared beside me in the trees and then darted in front of me on the trail at breakneck speed. I was surprised that I didn't hear it running up on me from behind, but there it was, inches from my right thigh, and then in front of my feet on the steep, rocky incline, and then out of sight again as quickly as it had first appeared.

Spray Paint
There's a special place in hell for people who spraypaint their names on large rocks in the woods.

As I sat on the large rock overlooking the river I was feeling very sad and alone. I had fallen, hard, on the slippery trail an hour earlier, and in the minute that it took me to assess my injuries and pull air back into my lungs I teared up a little, because I had thought I would be there on that trail with someone else, and instead I was splayed bruised and muddy on the side of a steep forest hill, alone. In other words, I was not having a very good day. Come to think of it, this year has really gotten off to a lousy start, and most of last year sucked too. So it was the collective weight of a bad day and a shitty year that contributed to my sitting on the large rock overlooking the river, feeling very sad and alone. Then a bald eagle flew by me, right past the rock at the same level as my body, and I reached out my hand as if to stroke its feathers, and I started smiling and crying at the same time, only this time it wasn't so much that I was sad as it was that I remain grateful.

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