They are Buddha kisses, these wonders you find along the trail. They are the true Bodhisattvas (or is it Bodhicitta?), oh it's been so long.
Flowers and leafs clinging to your hair, resting on the fallen tree. Checked the map with the compass and scribbled a few notes with the sturdy pencil. There was really no need to do so. The path was clear and the knowledge was certain. Checked your watch. Plenty of time.
Nothing brings you so much joy like hearing and seeing a mountain stream after a long steamy hike. Nature unveiling her secrets. It lifts the spirit and brings reassurance to the soul.
You cooled your perspiration by dipping your bandanna in the stream. Then looked up at the holy forest, the holy sky, the holy ground, and it was all holy, and yes, yes I know it's all been said and blessed before.
Then there it was! After two and half hours of hiking, we had reached the end of the trail. We couldn't go any further. A torrential creek swept down from the mountains and cut access to the other side, where the terrain and the forest became rugged and nearly impassable. This was it then. Our home beside the lake on the outskirts of civilization.
We put our backpacks on the ground and looked at each other.
"We made it!"
And the sun was still shining.
St. James' Bed by The Bones of J.R. Jones