Sunday, January 22, 2012


What masterful combination of words could ever give full and perfect expression to the sensation I had as a boy when I stepped outside on those mornings and breathed in the quiet mystery of the woods? Or who can capture the smells of  those mornings- the wafting smoke, the lake, and the duff slowly turning to soil beneath the big trees- and assign them words that would cause you to experience them as I did? My own abilities fall short, but if such words could be conjured I would want them for myself, and not just for you, so that I could experience their fullness again which the spectral quality of my memory denies me. I remember clambering down the slippery path to the lake, grabbing tree trunks and snatching at branches to steady myself as I made my way down. There I found a circle of gray ashes in the midst of rocks of a darker gray, and beyond was the lake, brown like tea and quiet. The forest crowded the shore. Mist hung in the trees. The excitment of last night's bon fire still hung to the place, and using a stick I dug in the ashes until I found an ember, which I used to coax the fire back to life.  On those mornings I knew a more perfect freedom than at any other time in my life. Nothing marred the day. No anxious thoughts. No troubled conscience. No strained relationships. I felt nothing but a heady excitement to see what the day contained, and delight in the world all around. Innocence was a shield protecting such moments. Yet, even so, it can be argued that even moments as satisfying as these were, in truth, spectral in nature and one day we will know a fuller flavor in heaven. For then we will know a deeper and truer innocence. No eye has seen. No ear has heard. No mind has even conceived of such a thing, and nothing will mar those days as they stretch into eternity!

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