We come up the mountain in the usual way; highway 127 to 16 to 221 to 21 to the forest road that leads to the cabin. The day is a perfect summer day. High, white, puffy clouds float lazily overhead, traffic is heavy, but we're in no hurry. The hot muggy air adds to the desire to slow down and smell the flowers. Turning onto the forest road, we are met with more humps, lumps, holes and bumps than usual and it begins to spit rain. We stop in the middle of the road, take out the tarp and spread it over our worldly possessions, thankful for the cooling rain on our faces and arms. Happy inside and smiling outwardly to each other, we repeat over and over how thankful we are for this place and this time together.
The forest road is in bad shape and reveals our government's priorities, as our national parks suffer horribly under Hollywood template style leadership, touting "me, myself, and I" agendas all the way to the bank. Regardless, here, more than anywhere in the world, it is easy to leave those irrelevant cares behind and assume responsibility for the things that matter. With Snoopy in the middle, windows down all the way, Jim in his element behind the wheel and me holding my hair out of my face with one hand, we slip into the dark woods, thick with birdsong, lingering dampness, flickering sunlight, whispering trees and a quiet that insists on reverence for its maker.
The bed of the truck is loaded with all implements necessary to ensure a successful vacation: bedding, chain saw, axe, easel, gas can, bug spray, fishing rod, cooler and other various supporting gear.
In a few minutes, we are unloaded and relaxed on the porch. I make up a batch of hummingbird food and Jim hangs the feeders out on the porch. Within seconds, we have our first customer.
Following a short respite, we gather our remaining energy for the trek into town (45 minutes away) to get groceries. Tired, hungry and grumpy, we stop to see our friend Doris on the way home. Her cheerful welcome and a few minutes on her porch swing, soon revive our spirits. She introduces us to her neighbors, Bonita and Gary and their grand baby. What a joy to see our dear friend Doris and to make new friends.
After filling up our water cooler and shower bags (Doris' water is WAY better than the campground's water), we climb the three mile forest road letting the truck creep over the humps, bumps, holes and rocks up the mountain and to the cabin.
Once again, I am the appointed gatekeeper and jump out of the truck at the bottom of the driveway to unlock it, let Jim drive through, and re-lock it behind us. No intruders here! We like our privacy.
A long day is ended with unloading the groceries and water. Too tired to cook, we settle on the porch with sandwich in hand, a glass of cold iced tea close by and feeling as much as seeing the beauty around us, allow the peace that is here to envelope us, as quietly the sun sinks into a kaleidoscope of color.
Seeing the sun retire, reminds us of our own tired selves. We make our bed and sigh deeply as we nestle down under the covers with all the windows open wide allowing the cool breeze to gently flutter the curtains throughout the house. Lying in bed, I tilt my head back against the pillow for a better view of the moon rising bright and high into the sky over the trees just outside the window above our bed. Out in the deep wood, a screech owl calls to its mate. As I lay watching the moon, I see the owl rise into the night sky silhouetted against the moon. I realize I am holding my breathe at the sacredness of this moment. For the first time in my life, I can hear the beating of his wings against the air.