My beloved wife and I spent today in paradise. We walked in an ancient redwood forest along a large creek with clear flowing water, small waterfalls, and deep pools. All around us towered my favorite tree as we walked among large ferns. Redwood sorrel that looked like giant clover leafs carpeted the ground.
My Beloved, a Special Ed teacher for a mixed Kindergarten/First Grade class, had just completed an exhausting school year yesterday and badly needed a nap, so we stopped for a while in a secluded glen.
I sat on a fallen tree near the creek and Beloved sat on the soft forest carpet leaning against me with her head resting on my chest.
The water tinkled with a soothing music that is sweeter than any wind chimes, and in no time she was asleep.
A warm but refreshing breeze gently caressed our skin as it enticed the trees to sway to the tune of the water and the wind. It looked to me as though the wind and trees were ancient dance partners swaying to a primal song, ever changing yet ever the same.
The sun and shadows were not to be outdone as they danced among the trees and plants, and on the forest floor. I thought their dance seemed a bit hurried, perhaps because they knew that when darkness fell at the end of the day their fun would end until morning, but the wind and trees could continue dancing and playing all night. I wondered if the sun and shadows cursed the unfairness of it all.
Our secret glen was full of spirit and magic and majesty.
As I sat in reverence to the awesome beauty all around, my senses came alive with the sounds of the wind and water, the rough feel of the fallen tree and the softness of the wind, and the smells of the forest that are so unique and pure and earthy.
Watching the water do its own dance among the steadface stones in the creek brought me back to the many times as a child my friends and siblings would race leaves or twigs on the surface of creeks. Or just sit and watch in curiosity and amazement as water skeeters raced along in calmer sections of the stream.
For awhile, I was a child again.
As I sat there in reverie, my back, behind, arms, and legs began to ache as I tried not to move to avoid waking my Beloved–my body reminding me that while my mind can be any age, my body sometimmes has other needs and ideas.
But an even stronger feeling came to me as I sat in silence letting the the soothing rhythms of nature refresh my spirit in that glorious masterpiece of nature, with the woman of my life in my arms:
This wasn’t merely paradise.
This was home.