Standing on the moss covered bluff, I gaze over the waters. My mind is laden with heavy thoughts. The sum of the gravitational pull is all centered on me and the weight is exhausting. All things haunt me and Gaia is calling. I walk the shore, I touch everything with these lead thoughts. Wading through salt, sand and stone; I stand waist deep in the cove. In the fog laden distance I see the waves approaching. The advent influx of water sparks an icy flame in my sternum; the anticipation is deadly in the most gentle of ways. As the crest begins to rise above me, I take a simple, deep breath and fall before the billowing tide. Incased in cool liquid serenity, my mental levee dissolves. The brackish waters wash away the old; the thoughts I’ve contemplated, the decisions I’ve made and the people I’ve been before. All that is not fluidized by water is the knowledge I so diligently harbor. The kelp caresses my body, urging me to rise to the surface. The burn in my lungs doesn’t bother me but I follow the sea’s request and break the surface. As the tide recedes, I stand. The brine ripples over my body to the damp shore bed below. My head is clear and its expanse is literally boundless. I begin to leave the bay behind but before it is completely out of sight, I have to stand back and look. My arm aches to wave but the bittersweet emotions won’t subside. They are deep and reverberating. Like a child bidding farewell to his parents, I glance down and walk away. The ocean re-birthed me but my insatiable prurience for nomadic life urges me to wend.

With the ocean far behind I find myself surrounded by highlands. With no sense of direction, the wanderlust reigns and I follow the overcast above. Rocky surfaces make the footing difficult. The landscape tests me further with a powerful wind. As I fight to maintain my balance I remember my gestation in the briny swells of the ocean. While I am not a child of the hills, I understand I must maintain equilibrium with myself and my surroundings. Instead of finding the winds hindering, I feel my body dry. The last bit of salt remains on my skin after the water’s evaporation, like relics from child hood; I hold it dear. The winds begin to calm me and I find that the weathered, metamorphic rocks give me a renewed sense of my point of compass. The destination is unknown but the cause for travel begins to develop in my mind. After awhile the wildflowers start to thin, then the grasses and before I know it I am standing before dunes of sand. The overcast has long disappeared and the sun is bright and reigning. The warm sands were a pleasant change from cool rock and dewy grass.  The rolling hills of fine sedimentary rock went on into the sunset. With my vigil holding strong, I begin the trek through the pale sandy night.

With the sands fading, I find a forest standing before me. Somewhere between tree line and dune, the sand is replaced by mosses and trees of evergreen. The arboreal past lingers in my bones and it reigns. I enter the forest and surround myself with everything. The occasional needle that falls from a tree, the spongy mosses that liter the forest floor and hang in sheets from the trees.  A black bear rummages through the foliage in the far off distance, birds swoop overhead. A cougar lays further away in a conifer. A lynx and her cubs lay to rest for the day. Some would say it was from exhaustion but I am not tired, simply complete.  I collapsed onto the ground, my face falling into the leaves, moss and grass. The ferns provided cushion and the soil provided comfort. The insects began to crawl over me, small mammals began investigating. A fox nudges my foot while a black-tailed fawn inspects my hair. The forest gathered around me. The forest floor was saturated with life. I just laid there  while I contemplated everything. It was not like most people think. They did not revere me; they did not give me special status. The fact that I am human matters little to them. Imbued with life by all the creatures surrounding me I realized that they weren’t admiring me, they were welcoming me home.

How would I do it this time? Where I would go? Will I stand by while my race destroys all else or will I defend the creatures that humans murder, torture and manipulate? The forest is your mother and the mountains your father. The ocean is your grandparents and the stars; your ancestors.  Once I realize this, my decision is lucid and unmistakable and it should be for you as well.


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