I am by myself wearing my blue jeans and an old flannel shirt. It is cool outside but I decided to leave my gloves at home, feeling comfortable with my warm shirt and my sturdy boots.
It is just me and the woods. I take nothing with me when I leave, because I know that I won't be gone too long.
It is early fall so it is cool outside but not cold. I am back on teh east coast walking through the woods of the Appalachins. The leaves have begun turning colors so there is a beautiful aray of oranges, yellows, greens, and reds. The red colors of the leaves remind me of the maple trees that used to be outside of my house. I remember looking at the red leaves on those trees the evening of our homecoming football game
when Paul came over.
The floor of the forest is damp but not muddy. There are moss covered stones that litter the path I am walking. Some of them are loose, and others are firmly embedded in the ground. For the most part they are the rocks that you have to watch out for when your are running a cross-country race so that you do not sprain your ankle. They are the type of rocks that are annoying at picnics and camp fires because they are not big enough to sit on and too big to move.
I keep walking because I know that ahead of me is a small stream where I can quietly sit and listen to the water. It is small enough that some rocks portrude above the water and I could walk across if I wanted to.
As I walk towards the stream I see a bottle that is empty and crushed. At one point it had been a bottle filled with mineral water for someone who had been hiking through the woods on a health trip. When I see it I don't stop to pick it up, but I make a mental note of its locations so I can grab it on my way back.
Once I reach the stream I sit on a rock and watch the water tumble over and around the stones in the creek bed. As I sit there a deer appears on the other side
of the stream. Not a buck, but just a standard doe. She walks down the side of the basin walls and approaches the water to drink. I just sit there quietly enjoying the peacefulness that makes both the deer and myself feel safe. After drinking she nods her head up and the runs away.
After sitting in peaceful contemplation for sometime, I get up and walk across the stream. Being no acrobat, my feet get a bit wet with the cold creek water. It's annoying but I journey
onward. I continue along the rough forgotten path and reach a clearing. Since it's fall the clearing appears to be nothing more than an open field with tall grass. However, in the spring it is a wonderful garden of wildflowers.
In the distance beyond the open field I can see a house. In it's the type of condition you would expect a random house in the forest to be in, a little run down, but quaint all the same. I walk over to it, and peer in the window. In side I can see what used to be a living room. There are some chairs and other furniture laying on the floor. In the center of the room there is a fire place, and on the mantle there is a vase. The vase that sits upon the mantle of the abandoned house is just a plain glass vase. It is not too tall, about the height of a two litre bottle of soda. It has a very simple ripple pattern in it. It's old and dust, the bottom of the outside has a reddish brown ring on it from sitting on the mantle for so long. Inside dust has collected and there are a few green spots from the mold that grew on the water that was left there after flowers once sat in it.
As I leave the house and run away, I think that I am following a path, but it is merely a coincidental placing of trees and a small trodden way that was probably walked by a deer at some time. It is getting darker. The sky is a cool grey. The type of grey sky that makes any fall day beautiful because you know that if it were not for the colors of the tree leaves, the world would be cold and stark. I happen to reach some steps, built by the park rangers. They lead down a hill to a river. The river is not huge but it is cosiderably bigger than the stream I saw earlier. There are man made stepping stones that I walk across to get to the other side. On the other side is an orange plastic fence that sits just above the embankment. It's like the fences they have by the music hall. I know not to climb over it because all that lies on the other side is the end of the forest and the beginning of a construction site. In fact, the fence was probably put there by the developer who wants to keep me out. So I stand there and look across the fence knowing that the forest still lies behind me, while there is nothing beyone the fence.