The brown, yellow leaves are falling to the ground. Slowly, as if trying to give me time to watch their slow dance of ritual with the wind and the earth. I watch the complicated path a leaf takes as it reaches the ground. I turn back to the path I was following. Beyond the cushioned path of brown twigs and rotting fall leaves, I can see the mist rising from the river. The sky is really blue today, I think. I look up at the sky, straining my neck, following the upward line of tall sequoia trees. No birds, today. Strange that feeling, as if waiting for something really loud to happen.
Realizing that I have been musing again, I trod along the path. The twigs snap under my boots. A squirrel scampers up a tree, pauses, looks at me and then scampers off again, as if saying, run along kid, do what you were doing.
A short meadow lies ahead of me, the yellow dry grass moving from side to side, brushing, whispering. I trudge along thinking these thoughts. At the edge of the edge of the meadow, I am standing on a cliff, overlooking a narrow river falls. The mist hits me, stinging my face with a thousand pinpricks. It is cold. I shiver and pull my jacket around me. I look at the sun. It’s almost about to set. Then I look back at the river, laughing as I usually do when I realize I have been straying off. This time I caught myself thinking that I looked ridiculous begging the sun for more heat.
I see a small log topple off the edge of the river. Free flight for a while and then it disappears in the surf and bobs back up a few feet down. That’s a long pilgrimage for a log to take. Almost like a salmon, but going down river never knowing where it might get caught and start to rot. Everything has a cycle, I think, a purpose and a cycle. What a contrasting thought. The log will either get to where it’s going to – the sea further down or get stuck somewhere along the way. I snap back on the sound of a splash. A bird is flying off to the rocks below with something caught in its claws. A fish. I should have caught the bird swooping down to catch the fish. I always seem to miss that majestic sight.
I am here to see the rainbow over the river. As always, I have missed it again – me and my thoughts. It’s not such a long hike from my house at all. But, along the way, nature seems to have its way with me. As if trying to say, forget the rainbow, you can’t reach it yet. Think of all these other wondrous things I have for you to examine, to think about. And when you have told me a story about each of the things you see along the path, then I will let you see the rainbow.
I close my notebook. I have written down my story for today, I console myself: the story about the log and its mission to get to the sea.
I will get to see the rainbow one day. Then I will close this notebook forever and throw it down the waterfall.