The forest was dense with trees and bushes, its shade cool and calming. I was sitting in that shade, among the bushes, gathering the magical berry of the northwest, the blue (Cascade) huckleberry.
Such an activity up in the northern Rocky Mountains isn’t just recreational, it’s also spiritual and nearly religious to locals, those who wander with leftover ice cream buckets in their hands, fingers, shirts and pants colored with the purple sacrament of huckleberry juice. The low bushes wave with the passing of the purest form of forest spirits.
After a while, I felt the need to rise up and wander through the bushes, to stretch my legs and to chase the light. A former forest giant appeared, now aging into a forest castle. Its once unified core was now changed into facades of textured shapes and colors. On its top were strings of moss and lichen growing green in its mixture of wood and water.
My castle was old and had been left for dead. Set in the middle of the thriving berry bushes, it had became a stage for yet another act, for opportunity. Life made way for more life.
As this summer ends and big decisions are upon us, I will hold to that image, a reminder that even in the face of rampant death and degradation, hope can be found and life can and will continue to emerge. Let the idea of life as truth return.