"In the woods we return to reason and faith."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
This weekend my guys and I stepped out of Chronos and into Kairos for a bit. We went into the woods. We breathed the scent of damp leaves and water and evergreen. We felt the cool mist that blows off falling water. We dipped hot, tired feet in the icy chill of a mountain stream. We listened to birds and crickets and frogs; to water gurgling over stones and gentle raindrops on our tent.
And a silence...something deeper and more profound than absence of sound...seeped into us. Subtle, but insistent. A slowing of the breath. A becalming. A washing.
We scrambled over gnarled tree roots and stones to get to waterfalls and to spectacular views over the gorges that penetrate the Cumberland Plateau. We drank deeply of the crimsons and golds that are already creeping into the forest, playing against a panoply of greens...against stark, leafless limbs that arrest the eye and pierce with a loveliness closely akin to pain
And we talked. That sort of deep, important talk that only happens when there is luxury of space and time. When close intercourse with beauty and immensity and intricacy loose in us that which is most valuable and profound. And it seeps to the surface....a word here...a phrase there....in the leisure of slow ambles across creek beds...in the warm lazy glow of campfire.
We pursued....and attained...roasted marshmallow perfection: delicate shell of crisp browned sugar, warm liquid pool of sweet deliciousness. For breakfast. Then we packed up sleeping bag, tent, cooler, and left our little world apart. We returned to the everyday. To the tyranny of schedule and interruption.
And yet....I suspect.......somewhere in the part of us that is most us...some of the silence remains. And that sweet, inner core has been strengthened. And we remember who we are....
*Photographs in the post taken at beautiful Fall Creek Falls State Park in Middle Tennessee.