The man trudged up the hillside, having to pull himself much of the way with roots and small branches. His boots slid on the slick leaves and he plunged his gloved hands into the mud to find a rock or purchase to keep from slipping all the way back down to the river below. Torn by thorns, cut and bleeding he crawled the last few yards of incline to a natural bench filled with golden weeds of some sort. He rolled over and propped himself up on a rotting deadfall. A few feet from him, his buddy plopped right down in the leaves and stared. They were exhausted. It had taken two days of constant paddling, battling the current to get this far and they had no strength to go any further. A lost paddle had decided this stop and both of them had walked away from the canoe as if it were some tormenting devil. He sat there trying to catch his breath in the pollen soaked air that burned his nose. The forest was as still as a tomb, nothing moved. There was not even a breeze to stir the skeletal trees. Somewhere far across the valley a crow cawed it's mocking laugh and he cursed it right back. His back hurt, his arms hurt and he eased himself back until he lay right down in the moss and goldenrod. His long underwear was sweated through and he would probably catch his death of chill but the sun seemed to promise otherwise. He was warm for the first time that day and he closed his eyes, he didn't even have the strength to move the rock poking him in the back. He just thanked God for chance to come out here where he didn't have a care in the world and fell asleep.
Sunday, May 31, 2009
The man strode through the garden taking in the particular beauty of it all. He had never been here before and the animals came to him to introduce themselves and see what he would call them. The small chattering gray ones made him laugh. Their furry tails were ticklish as they climbed his naked legs to perch on his shoulder and soon he was covered in them and not just grays he saw. Black and red cousins had joined them and the man found himself tickled all over until he could stand no longer. He fell over and the furry living coat leaped and bounced around him as he tumbled down the springy slope to rest in a warm, sunny glade. The sleek black birds that he had named a few weeks ago followed and joined their laughter to his. These were funny little creatures. The Father told him much of them. How they would help the trees to propagate by hiding their seeds and forgetting where they hid them. The man chuckled and told the Father that only He would think to make a creature useful predominantly for it's silliness. They spoke of many other things, the man thanked his Father for the sleek black birds that had kept him company that week. The sun was warm and his skin still felt alive with tiny toenails as the plants caressed his bare backside and soon without a care in the world, the man was asleep.