Forest Gospel

 
 

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Look down to see various body coverings. Shoes with soft soles that can feel every twig. A shirt of deerskin, which moves without a sound.  

The air around is still, bright with the smell of pine. Stepping over pine needles. Past trees, between darkness and light, over mossy stones and then in the distance the air begins to move. A small breath of wind strikes nape of neck, turn around. Turn around, turn around. Behind is the path that was traveled: the soft marks of passing feet on the beds of needles and softened ground are already beginning to fade.  

Ahead there is water, and the smell of wet. The ground becomes softer, and small trees and willows crowd into the vacant spaces beneath the trees. The urge to continue brings a steep bank. Sliding down sideways, the rusty brown soil covering those shoes and deerskin, turning them as red as the earth, and then into the water, turning the dusty covering darker, and washing it away in swirls. A small splash, a small trout leaping for a cataract, and missing, and down into the pool again.   

The sound of the water passes into the woods beyond the stream. The sound of a bird stirs the stagnant air, and the sound reaches the small stream. Upstream, light volleys down into a clearing, filled with a ferns and a small path or two between them that leads down, in a meandering fashion, without hurry, to a small place of rest, lined by the water itself, there, down by the stream, where animals come to drink the cold water.