This morning I stand before the Mountain in awe of the fog wrapping gracefully over the looming form rising above me. The last of autumns colors pierce the gray in the valley of the vapors where once the springs were open and running free. On foggy days I try to imagine how the land looked prior to the capping and controlling of the springs. It was a valley filled with the continuous beauty of rainbows, now the rainbows are underground in the form of colorful crystals.
A constant mist combined with the fog places a light sheen of moisture upon my skin as I begin my hike. There are tiny droplet on all the plants, it sounds like muffled rain showers as leaves give way to the weight of the accumulating liquid. Hiking in the fog all sounds seem muted as if the Forest is whispering to me, it is a seductive song.
When I reach the top of Hot Springs Mountain on the Peak Trail a breeze rustles the last of the autumn leaves yet to fall. A sweet Black Capped Chickadee is singing softly and I see it’s distinctive form in the Tree next to me. A female Cardinal is nestled down on a branch to my right and a White-Throated Sparrow is searching in the rocks for seeds.
My hike around the Mountain on the Hot Springs Mountain Trail is magical. A trail I know well seems transformed in the fog and mist, each bend and turn vanishing in the distance. Every step takes me forward into a world when Buffalo and Elk still roamed through the park within the mist of open hot springs. The peaceful moment reminds me to stop and place my hand on a Tree and give thanks to the for Forest taking care of me and sharing its sacred space.
Much Love to You All!