a pleasant surprise

Today is a good day to celebrate life and the sweetness of all the possibilities each moment fosters!

I was hiking a couple of days ago and found a nice shaded rock to succumb to for a breather.  I looked out over the scrub oaks, into the vast, seemingly depthless canyon that started its decent a few yards from my feet. The breeze stretched from those unknown depths, carrying its gift of restorative coolness to my happy respite.

I glanced up at the distant amber cliffs, mottled in a palette of golden highlights, crimson crevices, and pale alabaster shocks, shouldering the bluest blue a sky can be. Then by providence or happy accident, it didn’t matter which, my eyes fell on a perfect heart shape, plastered on that beautiful face of corrugated colors.  I gazed and smiled and took in a slow filling of my lungs because I didn’t want the moment to pass too quickly.  I looked deeply, watching it, to assure my own heart it wasn’t a picture flung from my imagination into the solidification of 3-D reality, momentarily. It wasn’t.  It was really there.  As real as the sheer cliffs, the busy ants that carried oversized packages passed the sweet rock I rested on, and the kisses the wind brought me.

I couldn’t avert my eyes.  That pristine heart appeared to be about the size of my thumb from far across the chasm that swallowed humongous forests of ponderosa pine.  I tried to make out if it was a dark out-cropping of rocks, pushed by force of storms, deftly arranged, over the years, into this happy shape.  Or perhaps it was engraved into the side of the cliff by wind and water of eons past.  Then again, it might be a miraculous bas relief caused by the stiff, slow currents of ancient glaciers, sculpting the faces of limestone and basalt.

“I wonder if it’s a shadow,” I said to magical air around me, “that only shows up at this time of day, in this season of the year, from this particular angle.”

I sat and watched.  I hummed to the trees.  I watched some more.  I told the ants to slow down and enjoy the scenery. They didn’t listen.

Then it came — the secret of its creation.  As soft as a whisper afraid of its own telling, it moved. It was no longer a perfect heart.  As the late afternoon became later afternoon, the shape imperceptibly morphed into a nebulous blob — still beautiful, for it lay in the arms of the painted cliff, but definitely not notable.  “Wow!”  I thought as I made my way back down the trail, “what a gift…  to catch those earth-bending moments at the perfect time…  to behold the heart of gold smiling at you from the bosom of Mother Earth, herself.”

So many possibilities each moment holds for us!

And as summer is just around the corner, like the sweet song of a river you can hear calling you but can’t see till you make that last bend in the trail, here’s a little celebration of that coming season:  “Serenade to Summer” written by Jerry Reed, performed by Tommy Emmanuel and Richard Smith.

Click here to watch:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7bFQSYg1yU

Courtesy of Harold Hall Photography:  http://haroldhall.photoshelter.com/image/I0000w4y5IDsMWeE