Sassy June pulls me from the heat of the July sun into the shade of the hardwood stands. The aged forest has grown tall, a great green canopy enshrining a clear understory that has lived wild for decades. Here the sorrels and trillium and wild gingers spread horizontally more than vertically in their efforts to gather the sparse light of that brief season of green.
Juney is mostly Husky, and it is in her nature to keep moving, keep trotting. All day if necessary. She’s given the broadest rein possible, and chooses our course, though it typically traces a sort of route that is comprised largely of our trail system. I follow along dutifully, at a quick, almost-husky pace, my eyes glued to the earth seeking my next footfall, or winding in zig-zags through saplings in pursuit of prey. Occasionally, my canine companion will hover and orbit around a rotten log or scat pile of particular interest, and I am granted the opportunity to raise my eyes.
On this occasion, on this perfect Pinnacle Day of July, Sasha and her nose have pulled me down from the crest of the hill at the trail’s entrance to the wood. Down through the little hollow that bends its way slowly to the banks of West Creek, an isolated stretch where it winds between the hardwoods and the swampy wastelands behind the hayfields. This place sees more raccoons and bears than humans or dogs, but we are equally welcome, the chortling water seems to say. As my furry friend excavated a dead beech stump, I was enraptured by the verdant glen in which we stood. The floor as far as one could see was covered with the low-growing emerald green of the forest. Above, the tops of gargantuan trees swayed and creaked in the wind, the blue sky and dappled sunlight trying to peek through the thick canopy.
I gasped at the splendorous beauty and peacefulness of this place.
“Eden!” my voice broke the quiet of the wood, and I was nearly startled at the utterance. “Am I dead?” I asked myself (not for the first time). “This is Heaven, or we have found Eden.” Snazzly paused just a moment and looked at me, then returned to digging.
The grandeur of this simple glade was overwhelming and defies description, and I examined it closely, finding it to be the very picture of what we see when we think of that garden of perfection inhabited by Adam and Eve.
My spirits were buoyed by our walk in the Wonder Woods, which is so often the case, and upon our return to the homestead I couldn’t help but to continue thinking about how fortunate and grateful I am to live in such a place. We took to the south porch for sunset that day, and I gazed out on the lawns filled with trees and flowers and birds.
“Even an apple tree.” I observed. “This is perfect. This IS Eden.”
I swung open the squeaky screen door and stepped into the living room.
“Well,” I continued, eyeing the white carpet, “except for the cat puke.”
Doone is an avid puker, usually after she overeats, so it’s not unusual to find these little gifts left for me.
When I returned to the porch, there sat the cat. Preening her fabulously-perfect coat and looking for affection.
“Well, Doone,” I postulated, “they didn’t write about it in their book, but if Eden was such a great place I’ll bet Adam and Eve had a cat.”
“Meow.” she replied.
Again I am at a loss when it comes to describing the beautiful sunset lawn that was my view. The long dancing shadows of trees waving in the wind, the passing flocks of cowbirds, the peach and pink and rose and salmon clouds.
“Yes, Doone,” I said as my feline friend ran off to kill one of my beloved hummingbirds, “I’ll bet there was cat puke in their Eden, too.”
Take care and keep in touch,