We have conquered the earth. We have used and abused nature. But it is nature that has mentored us through every step. It is the wild that still moves within our muffled souls. And when everything we've taken for granted begins to wildly change, we will come to an enlightening realization.
There is a moment when the student appears to have surpassed the mentor. But it ends abruptly; there is always one more lesson to be learned, a challenge and an invitation that changes the relationship between mentor and student forever. And it goes like this: never take anything for granted.
Sweet honeysuckle hangs in the sun, dangling over the dew-heavy blades of summer grass, and gently moving in the breezes that flutter affectionately through the youthful woods.
It is a scene of beauty. It is a scene of life. But more importantly, it is a scene of wisdom.
Dusty traffic lights hang over the abandoned streets behind a sheen of smog, and between rust-colored canyon walls of cement that display their desperation with cracked windows and twisted graffiti.
It is a scene of desolation. It is a scene of negligence. But more importantly, it is a scene with a lesson.
Every Friday afternoon, Anthony leaves his Biology class for a life of freedom. His weekends are spent in another world. And the boundary to this other world is finely drawn upon the 3:30 mark.
Living in the city with his mother is the life he lives as a student, as a neighbor, and as a teenager. But as soon as the weekend arrives, his roles are shed, his rules vanish, and he returns to the trees, the birds, and the breathless heights of the windy bluffs.
Anthony's father lives in a cabin-sized castle in the woods on a mountain of his own. Lake Takla is at the mountain's base, and the roaming lands of the mountain goats is at its peak. In between is Anthony's childhood.
The road to this realm of nature is very much a portal from one world to the next. It begins by vehicle through the boiling haze of inner city traffic. Then it transfers to bus by single lane highway. Then it changes to foot through quiet suberbia and finally along a paved bike path through parkland. And then Anthony reaches the single yellow ribbon that marks the beginning to his favorite hike.
One hour through a blooming valley transports him into the deepest woods that live around the lake. Another thirty minute climb brings him to the summit where his father's house sits.
And then he finds peace among the paintings of Greece, the humming bird feeders, and the crackling fire. And nature is not only at his doorstep, but it is everywhere to be seen.