In the morning we walk east before turning north at a trail head few people notice and fewer people use.
The chicory there is a deeper blue than the sky.
She walks slower than I do.
It is a question of care, a question of attention.
She laughs at little things: a leaf falling, a moth fluttering back and forth through invisible breezes.
She sighs sometimes too, most often at animal tracks on the trail.
So far I have taught her to identify the trail of deer and fox and moose.
It is a woman, she said of the deer print, tracing its edge with a crooked finger.
I tell her how sometimes in summer – after a dry spell followed by sudden rain – the prints will fill with water and a little honeysuckle or pollen will float in them.
She nods as if she has seen this, too.
Happiness is the self looking only to itself for revelation, she says.
When you desire only God, you have found God.
The desire to know the absolute needs no translation.
She puts a hand on my shoulder – reaching up – which she does when she wants my full attention, which I am learning how to give.
That is the only way, she says.
We are standing on the trail – half a mile into the forest - gazing west to where the ground begins its long slope towards the unnamed brook.
We can hear the faint music of water, a steady thrum beneath the spangled song of unseen birds.
I know if we do not move from this place – and do not speak but only breathe quietly and steadily – we will see a bear.
It is walking towards us the way a rose unfolds so slowly you cannot perceive its movement.
It is walking out of the invisible stars to the earth where so patiently and happily we wait for it.
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