Saturday was beautiful. It was one of those Washington days that'll dazzle the socks right off your feet. It was Autumn in full glory - sunny, sixty degrees - a real knockout. I got up early, did my chores - I'm quickly becoming appreciative of the zen involved in chopping and hauling firewood. It's a chore I actually really enjoy. It makes me feel... uh... what's the feminine equivalent of virile? And why do a bunch of hirsute men get such a great word?! Dammit.
Anyway, I got my chores done, told Nino to hop in the truck, and we went to church.
*pauses while reading public does a triple take*
I spent the better part of the afternoon at the most gorgeous cathedral on earth. It's called Nature and I found a spot that made me feel as though the ground I trod was surely the birthplace of the gods. Nino and I spent the afternoon at Big Four mountain, just a 20 minute drive from my home. The colors of the changing leaves were so beautifully rich that they made my eyes tear up. The air was redolent with the perfume wrought by sunlight on the dewy grass. The birds sang hymns to a sky so intensely blue that it nearly felt touchable. The light breeze whispered a prayer through the trees, frogs croaked amens, and a crystal clear pond reflected the mountain - the altar of the gods. A gypsy and her dog, acolytes both, wandered for miles in this hallowed glen.
After a couple of miles of hiking, we rested in the deep dark hush of the forest before turning back. I sat on a fallen log and ate an apple (Corpus de Matris Terra. Amen.). Nino had a dog biscuit and snuffled around happily in the fallen leaves. I contemplated the interconnectedness I've come to feel with the Universe, with the nature that surrounds me, with my dog (I don't know when I've ever been this madly in love with an animal). I don't need to gather with 100 others in a building of brick and mortar to feel that. I don't need to read laws written and translated and rewritten by mortals to know what is good and right. I don't need an orchestrated hymn to stir me. Just give me a day robed in beauty, a good dog, room to roam, and some quiet contemplative time.
Can one feel utterly grounded and take flight at the same time? I think so. I know who I am.