I travel a worn path meandering through a pine insulated world kicking up the sweet scent of decaying leaves, nature’s debris and convention, at our feet.
Arched and entangled, a mass of delicate branches beckons me forth, and draws me aside.
Their thin green blanket of winter moss resembles a layer of snow enveloping the barren, naked trees of cold, northern winters.
Warm and moist, the winter of the south is alive.
Descending natural steps and sloping paths I slip toward the slick, jagged rocks bordering the rushing current, pulsating blood surging through an artery.
Saturated earth and greedy trees reach outstretched limbs to sate an unquenchable thirst.
They embrace the wind and embed their ancient wisdom and desire in my soul with the kiss of the breeze on my flushed cheeks.
How far is forever, the stream’s caressing flow wonders while hard edged rocks stab the water’s composed surface, cascading the swift current, quickening the pulse.
I wonder too as I reach toward a clear pool anticipating its cool touch.
I follow the current over rock and root to where the creek widens and empties into a placid lake.
Straining beyond my line of sight I hope to find an answer but meet instead a wall of foreboding trees, erect and stern, glaring in judgment from the opposite shore.
My rocky footholds are gone and I find myself sinking in sand and clay. Alone and exposed I crave the solace of my tree-lined creek, the lyrical dance of a heart tripping along a stream.