morning on the mountain brought a heavy, misty-type fog as thick as
tissue paper. I stared beyond the screen door of the small log
cabin I had rented. I could see no further than the wooden steps at
the bottom of the porch. Coffee cup in hand, I ventured out noting
the creaking of the porch timbers beneath my feet. Right behind me
nipping at my heels was my faithful friend and companion. Shasta
was my three-year-old Boston terrier. She was the best hunting dog I
knew of. I shot them; she fetched them. I had rescued her from a
shelter near home. An elderly couple could not take her with them
to the nursing home, and she became mine.
had erected a very large wooden porch swing built from the pine
trees found on the mountain. Though a bit uncomfortable, I sat and
waited for the lifting of the menacing fog. Shasta lay on the cool
porch boards awaiting my command.
senses are heightened in such a quiet environment. The only sounds
heard were the chirping of the morning sparrows in the trees nearby
and creaking of the rusted chains of the old porch swing. There was
an inner peace flowing over my soul like tepid water from the old
well in the yard. Why could I not remain in this same space for the
rest of my earthly life and experience total and complete elation?
soon overrode my patience. I trekked down the mountain to the
river’s edge followed by Shasta. The journey was indeed a good
half-mile. My path was an uncertain one filled with rocks and
potholes overgrown with weeds. I lost my balance when I stepped on a
particularly large pinecone in my pathway. Tumbling over and over
finally landing on my side made me realize the condition of my
body. My bones ached mightily. I knew I would recover in a day or
two with more than a few bruises to my torso. Shasta just licked my
face repeatedly as if feeling sorry for me.
catching my breath, I continued down the mountain in search of the
beach area where I had stowed my much used canoe. Not realizing the
true density of the fog, I failed to see the landing and fell over
the canoe on my backside. If I survived my clumsiness, I planned to
board the small boat. I had wanted to float down the river in search
of berries for my breakfast.
branches laden with dense gray moss hung low over the water’s edge.
I remembered my Boy Scout fact that moss hung on the north side. Oh
yeah, I knew the direction of my travels. Shasta sat in the bow of
the canoe as if searching for obstacles in our path.
water’s surface was tranquil. Tiny waves washed over the pebbles of
the beach area leaving bits and pieces of debris from the river’s
floor. There were bright shiny shells and weeds along with old
my feet over the side of the canoe and let the cool water tickle my
toes. The water was so cool. Tiny fish swam to and fro looking for
their morning meal of insects.
Somewhere in the distance was the tantalizing smell of bacon frying.
My taste buds took on new life. My stomach began to growl. Shasta
smelled it too and offered a bark of craving.
was a soft moo from a cow grazing near an old barn waiting for
milking time. No one was seen moving outside the tiny cabin. It was
as though time had stood still.
I paddled my canoe
slowly anxiously awaiting a glimpse of the sunrise that would
eventually penetrate the denseness of the fog. Moving soundlessly
through the river, I heard the sound of an electric saw somewhere
above the cavern floor. The sound echoed with such force, I felt an
abrupt disturbance in my peacefulness. Perhaps someone was cutting
down a pine to be used in his fireplace. It was a known fact that
in this region people used their fireplaces for both heating and
A single songbird
warbled his good morning to me from a low-hanging branch. He then
flew away to explore yet another tree. It occurred to me that these
simple creatures never worried about a place to sleep or food to
eat. God always provided for their needs. It was as though He had
destined me to make this trip to assure me He cared and provided my
needs each day without even being asked.
warning quietness surrounded me that was almost eerie. The fog
wrapped us in a gentle blanket refusing to let me move. My muscles
were tense as if expecting something magnificent to happen. I was in
total awe when the sun suddenly burst forth its brilliant beams
penetrating the fog with such majesty and ease. It was as if God
had to show nature He was yet in control of the land and elements.
quickly dispersed. I was amazed at the height of the canyons
stretching their giant cliffs upward to the sky on each side. The
giant walls had been hewn in time from the mighty force of this
river. Overhead the azure sky was so bright filled with large
billowing clouds. High above these stately structures flew a small
private plane plunging me back to reality. All at once the image
that had transpired during the thick fog had vanished. The
expectation of events to come had been swallowed up by the very real
typical day in America. The mighty cliffs had lost their majesty
and even the songbirds had traveled skyward in search of humanity.
The morning stillness had been broken.
glanced toward the bow of the canoe only to find Shasta lying on her
back allowing the warm morning sun to penetrate her belly. She was
snoring so her body rocked from side to side. My mind seemed
confused at that moment. Did I want to return to reality and face
another day at the office in the asphalt jungle? Did I want to turn
and go back toward the tiny cabin with my best friend and be lost to
nature. Without hesitation, I circled around and returned to my
haven by the river, Reality could be faced yet another day.