Our recent windstorm added more trees to the fallen in this beachside old growth forest. They lay across prior victims, their surprisingly shallow roots ripped in mass from the soggy forest soil. I once morned trees felled by wind, heavy snow, or even old age, as you might the victims of war. With eyes trained by watching a human world never at piece, I wanted to see wind battered forests as war zones.
But the wind blows without thought of trees or me. Today running water seems at war with its solid forms—snow and ice. It melts both, the snow yielding so fast that the runoff pools on the forest floor before reaching the swollen streams. Melt water cuts straight channels through the trailside ice and reveals good smells for Aki to appreciate. She and I maneuver around patches of softening snow and slick ice to the breach where a clutch of gulls relax on rocks, as if soldiers enjoying and rest and relaxation before the ebbing tide uncovers their battlefield.