At church, Platbos Forest, May 2013.
“Walking in the forest for me is like going to church.
It is my cathedral, and I haven’t been doing that enough lately.
With the cougars getting so close to our house recently
(we found some cougar shit fifteen feet from the back door),
I suppose I have become a little fearful of the forest.
I’m going to have to let that go.
I need to connect again.
Walking the forest floor is one of the most spiritual things I can imagine.
Just thinking about it now makes me wonder why I haven’t been there in a couple of years.
I used to take Ben Young into the forest all of the time.
We would fasten his chair into the old blue jeep and off we would go together.
We both enjoyed it a lot.
Next time we’re on the ranch we’ll load up and go for a trip together.
Just like old times.
Rolling slowly down the old jeep road, giant redwoods surrounding us,
Ben and I will see the God-rays streaming down through the trees and landing on the forest floor.
The old jeep crawling along the pathway silently in low gear, effortless in its motion,
creates just enough noise to warn the residents of our arrival,
and that is the way.
Every now and then we stop just to listen and smell the forest.
The birds become silent,
then slowly start their chirping, warbling, and finally,
as if triggered by some unknown event,
a jay cries a warning into the forest.
All becomes quiet, and then the cycle begins again with a few warbles and chirps.”
Waging Heavy Peace - Hippie Dream, by Neil Young
(Viking, an imprint of Penguin Books, 2012)
Thank you, Neil. This is the way.
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