Beneath My Feet

I am a terrible person to take for a hike.

Oh, I follow safety guidelines, I pack my weight, and I don’t make bad jokes about going over the edge of the cliff.

But-

I am not a destination hiker.

I do not hike to reach the end point.

The end point is a pleasant side effect of hiking.

I cannot tell you how many steps to the summit.

I can tell you when the mallow is in bloom, where the siskens nest, what the sun looks like when it reflects off the surface of a still alpine pond.

I know what it feels like to run sphagnum through my fingers, to peer so close to the tree I can see the paths created by ants running lace-like through the bark.

My feet are not ephemeral, passing without recognition along a fixed pathway.

They are connected, solidly, to the world beneath me.

I acknowledge this world with every step, with every word I write.

I am not a thousand feet away, staring out from the summit.

Every step, every word-

I am here.

IMG_5284Here. Always.


While spending too much time looking at where I am rather than where I am going, I have also written a fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor. It is available here.

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The Taste of Rain

It is the way the air tastes that alerts me.

Clouds are no predictor of rain or storms.

But that heavy, ozone-laden weight on my tongue is seldom wrong.

Good stories have that taste, too.

Before the storm, before the water or the wind, the words start to feel heavier.

While there are freak showers, spot lightning, most storms send notice of their passage.

I love that moment when the air is sizzling, when the bottom of my stomach drops, because I can feel what is about to come.

Storms can be terrifying as well as beautiful.

But when I stand in the noise and the flood, I can connect the moments.

There is nothing like the flavour of disruption.

The taste of rain.

DSC00500The storm to come