You cannot build up a character in a solitude;
you need a formed character to stand a solitude.
A blustery east wind rattles the branches of the cedars above my head. They bang and clang and bend and creak, a loud crash off in the distance has me ducking my head; a self-preservation instinct no doubt. The branch now lying on that ground covered with wet mud and pine needles will now be waiting to become part of the forest floor, a place for the bunnies and squirrels that keep me smiling.
A turkey meanders aimlessly plucking the ground below its feet searching for those bits and pieces of green sprouts that poke their heads above the blanket of brown curled and fallen long ago leaves that hide the forest floor. I creep ever so slowly under cover of the noisy banging clanging of trees above to see if I can get close enough to get a good photo without him noticing me.
I pull the point and shoot camera out of my vest pocket, the one that appears to be a bit bruised and battered from yesterday’s unfortunate incident of crashing to the ground on another one of my adventures in the bush, I get it ready to capture the turkey, the shutter is now missing but I am still hoping this will work, it is the best I can do this early in the morning far from the house. I point at that big old beautiful tom turkey and creep ahead slowly.
SNAP… while not paying attention to what was under my feet, I stepped on a branch and that horribly breaking sound echoed through the bush, bouncing off the trees sounding like a gunshot, the turkey in self-preservation mode flies off. I am left standing alone and disappointed that I had not captured the moment.
There is so much to capture in my world, in this bush I love and I never want to forget any of the thoughts or moments that slip quickly by. I usually carry a pen and paper in my pocket that I will pull out when I reach a comfortable place to sit, relax and think and to write it down. I head over the ridge to find that special place of peace and inspiration.
Following the worn trail that the deer have used over the winter and the leaves of the Trout Lily now sprouting stretch to reach the sun rays that bounce off the maples I can almost feel their happiness after the deep long lasting snow had them trapped underground for so long. I get a bit distracted when I hear the sound of splashing water and wander to the stream, playing in the water and not remembering those past words I had, I continue to gather more.
My step quickens as those saved moments I need to write down begin to slip, I need to get to that special place and pull out that pen and paper before I forget those words that were flowing freely but are now trickling. I know now I cannot make it to my rock so I sit by the pond where the leaning tree stands tall and crooked, then plunk myself down on a grassy mound. I start rummaging through my vest pocket for my pen and paper. The words are pounding wanting to be heard, demanding to be heard, I rush to be able to let them flow out to the paper where they belong. Pounding, pounding.
Shuffling things around in my vest pocket I pull out a crumpled piece of paper and try to flatten it enough to jot down those pounding words, it has not been used for quite a while now and forgets how to lie flat. I frantically search for that pen that has always been there. I throw my dirty leather gloves, a few tissues, a bottle cap, and a rusty piece of barbed wire, a pretty rock and that battered and bruised camera on the ground beside me; my pockets are empty except for a tube of lip-gloss.
Lip-gloss, I do know will not work like a pen, I try anyway, the words drift away much like the leaves that swirl and twirl above in the wind. With nothing else to do I sit and I listen. Watching as the wind picks up those leaves, and I enjoy the sound of the banging, clanging of the trees, and my heart pounding loudly. That is the moment when I finally notice the incredible reflection of the trees in the pond.
I smile while tracing my lips with the lip-gloss knowing exactly why I love it here.