During this extended streak of warm, sunny weather I’m becoming a bit of a spend thrift; squandering daylight hours inside reading or watching the TV. The pattern even affects my selection of hiking trails. This morning we take a heavily forested path, one that alleviates the need for sun screen. There’s a beach at its apex but most of it will be in shade when we arrive there.
What starts as a lazy indulgence turns into a conversion experience, at least for me. Aki is Aki, a dog most interested in the pee and poop of other canines. For me it’s the light, now piercing straight down through the spruce canopy to transform the color of blue berry brush and expanding devil’s clubs. On the beaver flooded portions of forest floor each pair of illuminated skunk cabbage leaves seem to admire their reflections in dark pond waters. Looking up I watch a cloud of small white butterflies fly into and out of the dark spaces in the old growth.
Commercial companies guide cruise ship tourists through this cathedral of trees. If each step along the path enriches my spiritual life, what does it do to them; they who ate full fat breakfasts on one of the Princess Cruise boats then wandered among the downtown tee shirt and jewelry shops before boarding their Gasteneau Guiding bus for the trail head. The beauty must hit them like a sledge hammer.
Approaching the beach I notice salt flavoring the moisture softened air that Aki and I both breathe. On this gentle, almost windless day, tiny ocean waves mimic the breathing of a sleeping giant. Since the midday sun light washes alway all the sea’s drama we don’t spend much time on the beach, but the sound of breathing travels with us well into the forest.