Thunder! The storm clouds gather.
A grosbeak valiantly circles overhead.
When this journey began, my hope was painted against an azure sky when the sun was high and the scent of pine and meadow flowers copiously filled the air.
Many times I have stood at the forest’s edge and let the sweetness and magic of its promise draw me in.
But, today, I hear distant drums heralding a coming storm, it marches across the glen. Have I languished too long? Will my peaceful tranquility feel the coldness of its blade?
My pace quickens, not outward but inward to the sanctuary of the camaraderie of the woods.
Briefly, the path is sprinkled with dabbled sunlight that spotlights a yellow-black spider spinning its web between milkweeds. An arduous task filled with purpose and hope in advance of the storm.
An ozone scent slides into me. I inhale deeply. In the innocence of my youth, I celebrated the normalcy of its breath but now I only feel sadness and fear.
The die is cast. How long will it last? While the once proud Northern Holy Fern, Walking Fern, Maidenhair Spleenwort Fern and orchids are compelled to hide in its inky bloom.
The gentle breeze lulled my senses; illusions in sunshine blinded my ears while my mind chose what was and not what is among my peers.
Tree trunks cry out; their struggle barely audible above the bellowing noise of the angry wind; their limbs scratch furiously at the sky; strongly with purpose they fight against their bully.
My hypothalamus drives me in earnest to my haven hidden in the hollow round the bend. The tumultuous journey of a storyteller, its story not easily told, arrived long before I was born. I had to see beyond its beauty and be disposed to undertake a promise never to refrain from learning its message riding full rein.
Everything begins one day, that’s just the way it is. Where it starts is rarely where it is. Tomorrow bleeds into tomorrow. If you take notice, pay attention, bear witness and commit, today does not have to be a cellophane footnote as part of the compass in your kit. Choices form the North Star to the future that fits.
Unimaginable yesterdays brought me to the rock where I sit. Before me the stalwart waterfall’s music flows. Though its majestic structure may have been decreed, adjudicated and arranged by forces beyond its control, its conclusion has not been clinched.
Voices and outstretched hands not emptied of hope ride with anguished arrow to my home.
And the falling water asks me as it has done so many times before: Will you stand against the storm?