Mounting It~ Part 3: The Retreat


A wooden fence is all that separates the edge of the trail from a rather steep, and dangerous, drop. The ones who stay within the lines are supposedly safer, but that’s never been the way it really works. I don’t stray far, only far enough to get a better view. Measured risk, defined danger, controlled chaos. Wild abandon can wait until someone else is beside me.

On the forest floor, the last of the fern fronds stays bravely stalwart, not yet yielding to the frosts. Some will see it through the winter, courageous evergreen types, earning nicknames like the Christmas fern, and one can find them poking through the snow. If they’re not ravaged too badly, they’ll be there in the spring, when it starts all over again.

For now they share the wild carpet with pine needles, oak and maple leaves, and myriad mosses.

It looks so calm and welcoming, this cushioned expanse of earth, on the smallest scale, on the largest scale, and part of me wants to fall into it too, to join the delicious decay, to burrow into it like some hibernating creature who can’t face the winter.

Instead, I look in the opposite direction ~ up. Into the boughs, and, beyond, into the sky. Patches of blue through yellow leaves. Into the clouds, into the heavens, into the face of God ~ and I want so fervently to believe.

My time here has drawn to a close.

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