Bright Spring morning... the birds sing sweetly

Frogs squeal and croak and plop into the stream

A lone hiker begins his journey striding up the trail

Feeling strong, sure of foot, certain of destination

Scrambling over rocks... picking a way across streams

Past waterfalls and smaller trickles down the mountainside above


It's a beautiful day

The air is crisp but the sun is warm through the boughs of tall trees

Fragrances of fir and spruce in the breeze

Deep green ferns and brown and red mushrooms decorate the forest floor

And enrich the air with their own scents

In solitude the hiker draws in deep breaths of sweetness


But in solitude the hiker knows he's alone


Striding up a serpentine trail loneliness is forgotten for a while

The air grows crisper

Breeze cooling exposed skin

At first it feels good

Sky darkens and a slow rain starts to fall

Air turns from cool to cold as the day advances

As the forest is left behind for the summit


Drizzle becomes snow

The hiker plods on leaving tracks that are soon buried by falling fluff

It's cold... So cold

Snow slices across exposed skin

Tingling... slightly painful

Some flakes almost drawing blood from exposed skin



So tired

So cold

He's arrived here too quickly

The hiker sweeps clear his little nest in the snow below a small ledge

The snow is soft and dry

The air is quiet of singing birds and plopping frogs

A tear forms in the corner of each eye... and just as quickly freezes

The hiker sleeps dreaming of those he loves

Could end here but for those he loves

Stroking warm soft faces with dreaming hands

Until dreaming ends

The End

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