Monday, September 11, 2006

a hike

Sunday, September 10, 2006

a hike
Current mood: good

The grass is soft, and long enough to tickle my back where my shirt rides up. There is only a breath of a breeze, but the day is not too hot. As the sun sinks it turns the light golden, and I gaze out at the mountains around us. The bird rises into view again, coasting gracefully on the thermals, sailing and circling with no visible effort. As it wheels slowly overhead I point it out to Sweetcheeks, who focuses on the bird and watches it with improbable concentration for a one year old. He is relaxed and seems very happy out here, touching the earth and sky. He turns to me suddenly with a delighted grin, and points at the bird. Then he points at the trees, whispering his little baby language to me. Next it's the mountains, then a nearby rock. He pats the ground and rolls off my lap to crawl through the soft, long dry grass that arches over his head. I keep an eye on him while he explores.

I hear Littleman and Billy wandering back up the trail, where they'd gone to explore. Soon we'll need to hike back down the mountain, and I'll dawdle with Littleman as we examine mushrooms, oak trees, bird sound and pools of orange sunlight. He is so interested in these things, and it's a joy to answer his questions. "That one's a maple tree", and "I don't know what the bears are doing, sweetie. Probably finding things to eat. They like to eat berries (especially blackberries, around here), grubs and old meat." Then he tells me a story about how a bear will come right here and talk to him- it will tell him where the campfire is on the mountain, and that soon it will be going to sleep. He'll understand the bear, and then tell me what the bear said. I say "Wow" and really mean it, though not in the way he thinks. Wow. How cool to be here, how wonderful to share this time and place with our boys, how amazing to show these delights to them and to spark original questions and stories in return. Wow. What a true blessing we have.

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