Sunday, November 08, 2009

The Tao of a transcendent hour ...

... is to shut up, still the voices in your head, begin walking, look, then listen to trees and the prairie talk. I'm serious.

At Red Haw, pull off the road just as the old stone shelter comes into view, then hike down the road that says "do not enter." Watch for it or you'll miss it.

Meander a ways west and watch for the grassy path the leads off to the left into the woods, then shoots you down a steep hill and across the end of the lake's southwest inlet. Watch the path on the way down and not the view or you'll slip on a walnut and break your neck. I nearly did late this afternoon.

Once you've crossed the inlet, lake to the left, marsh to the right, instead of following the trail that wanders along the lakeshore, take the path less traveled off to the south and curve out of the woods and up onto the prairie, following a clipped trail with the timber on your left, murmuring to itself in the wind, and ripe prairie grass whispering and bending to your right for as far as you can see.

You'll have perhaps half a mile of these harmonizing voices and visual contrasts before the path curves down into the woods again and deposits you by the lake. Here, following the path you didn't take at the inlet crossing, return to it and instead of climbing that steep hill, turn right along the north shore.

When you reach the end of the trail, climb up on a picnic table, look out over the water, think about it for a while, then climb the hill to your car and drive away.

1 comment:

Wanda Horn said...

Are you OK, Frank? I've never known you to go quite this long between posts! Hope you're not a flu victim!