I’ve had an ache in my throat and chest for weeks now – and I’ve known it’s all about unshed tears. And that’s okay. I knew they would come in their own time. Today they did – and it wasn’t about me at all. Oh, I suppose that got mixed into it eventually. But I wept for the forest.
Today, Abby and I headed to Extension Ridge. We hiked for about an hour and then went into one of the back trails where the forest is particularly pretty. But there was no forest. The entire ridge had been clearcut. More accurately, the land had been raped and looted. Destroyed.
I walked through it, thinking, it will stop soon. Soon I will be back in the forest. But no – it went on and on. The entire ridge. Gone. Oh sure – I know what loggers will say – hey, we plant trees. They grow back. And that’s true. Far off in the distance, I could see replanted trees, maybe twenty or thirty years old forming dense greenery.
But what I was looking at was not a forest. It was a tree farm.
And so finally I came to one lone giant that had been left standing. And I cried and I apologized. I told that dead forest and the few survivors that I was profoundly sorry for the sins of humankind – because – oh my gosh – we are so destructive, so unfeeling and unheeding.
And I plodded on – I had gone to the ridges and the forest for some healing – and all I found was pain.
It will come back, I told myself. After humanity is gone – after it has destroyed itself, this beautiful earth will come back. She will heal herself.
Finally I came back to the original trail but went past it. I’d been told that there was a new-ish trail just past it that was pretty sweet. Okay – let’s see.
I found it easily enough, started in and – magic!
Nature’s beauty healed my earlier pain instantly. I had never been below the ridge – and what a wonderland: sky-high cliffs and massive boulders – rock formations out of a fairy-tale. On and on, Abby and I walked, me taking photos every couple of feet because I had never seen anything quite like it.
I was in a beautiful forest and a rock garden that only the Mother could have created.
And so finally, Abby and I had lunch – and let me tell you that Abby was thrilled: a hiking sandwich! The best sandwich on earth!
And then on we went until it was time to get back on the ridge. That took a bit of a bushwhack – a bit of heaving of Abby up the rocks. But she did it – and she hiked for almost four hours with her tail wagging the whole way!
And so the day ended with a bubble bath and an Abby snoozing happily on her bed.