Writing 101 Day 19 is another free writing day.
I hike. One foot in front of the other. It is a hot day, but surprisingly not that humid. The air is thick with bugs. One buzzes around my ear and I wave a hand to shoo it away. Temporarily. It’ll be back in a few seconds. It is a bug.
The sunbeams slant through the canopy of the trees overhead, lighting the path in a spectrum of brightness. This stride is into light, the next into shade.
It’s uphill. Steep. I walk on the balls of my feet. I focus on my breathing. Regulating it. Pacing it to my stride.
I approach a natural step formed by a root. Wet leaves have piled up underneath. Blue flies swarm out as I approach. I walk through the small cloud, not slowing.
Today, I will hike roughly 25,000 paces, all of them up or down save a handful. Three mountains to cross. The third being the worst, both in terms of the trial and the quality of the trail.
Uphill, downhill, uphill, downhill … so it goes. Roots and rocks. The trail cuts a deep rut here and there and other places skirts around new obstacles across ground that is much less packed, worn.
From forest to mountain top, I climb the switchbacks. To the meadow. The birds sing in a riot. I wish there were more birds to eat the bugs. I can hear them, but I see few. I think about the effects mankind has had on nature. Perhaps it wasn’t always exactly like this. Perhaps there were more birds and fewer flies.
The meadow is hot. The cool breeze now noticed by its absence. The wild raspberries are thick here and starting to form. White with a hint of pink.
Back to the forest. Toadstools and wildflowers, I notice. The flowers are red, purple, yellow, white, and orange. I stop and take a few pictures. The interplay of the beams of light and the patches of flowers is something to be seen though. To be felt. It is not possible to capture in a photo properly as the cool breeze, washing over my sweaty face, choreographs it own dance. A tree sighs here, there. Leaves ripple in a subtle series of waves and the flowers and the light twinkle in a private show for an audience of one in solitude.
I move on. Step over a log, cross a creek, descend the mountain, cross the wetlands. The next mountain awaits.
Copyright © 2014 Eric Schweitz, including photo