The gravel dirt road narrows to a single lane full of pot holes. Trees tower on either side, crowding the already narrow lane. In truth, it is more path than road. It snakes through the trees, winding endlessly left and right in tight arcs. The tree tops reach for the skies, blocking out the light, leaving a murky, dappled darkness. These trees have been here for hundreds of years; the path widened to accommodate vehicle traffic only thirty short years ago.

Travel on the road is slow and on-coming traffic is always a concern as sight distances are measured in feet. Wide spots in the road are scattered every half mile or so, allowing cars to slide past one another. When two vehicles meet where neither can pass, the vehicle facing downhill must yield the right-of-way by backing up until the vehicle going uphill can pass.

There is a wide spot that allows for parking of about three vehicles at an unmarked trailhead. Just walk down that trail about a half-mile and you come upon a pristine section of the river. An old redwood fell here hundreds of years ago and I use the log as a bench. I sit and look at the stream flowing past.

The sound of the water flowing by is relaxing. Looking up through the trees and seeing rays of light poking through the trees. A small patch of blue sky is barely visible through the top of the canopy. This is where I come to sit and think. Some days I will sit here for hours. I rarely see anyone here in my own personal little paradise. The rare intruder usually passes with just a nod and respects my wishes to be alone.

The trail is covered with redwood needles and there is no evidence that anyone has been here. The trail says that people must come here. The people that use this trail are careful not to disturb what nature has created over the last 5000 years.

The water is crystal clear and from fifty feet away I can see every rock in the stream. In a few minutes the fish return to swimming in the stream. These trout have learned to disappear when people walk up. Once I spot the first trout in the stream it becomes easier and easier to see them. There are hundreds of trout in the stream. I wonder if they were there all along and it just took me this long to finally see them. I was looking for them. At least, I thought I was looking for them.

I see a banana slug slowly making his way across the log. I notice a squirrel darting around in the trees. Finally, I hear a bird up in the trees. Ah yes, I finally spot the bird that has been singing to me. I wonder what other animals are here with me and just well hidden in plain sight. I am sure I would see plenty if I only knew what to look for. I am not here to bother the animals and I will move along soon enough.

I could sit here forever and soak in the sights and sounds of nature. I find it relaxing. Unfortunately, the hustle and bustle of everyday life is calling me back to reality. I make my peace with nature and promise to return. We never say good bye. We only say see you later.


One Response to “Tranquility”

  1. josephedecker Says:

    The second image here should be credited to Joe Decker.

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