I found myself somewhere in the wilderness, surrounded by large trees dancing in the wind.
The breeze was cool and refreshing, the smell of pine filled the entire mountainside causing a relaxed feeling to overcome me as I took it all in.
Birds were chirping somewhere in the distance and you could hear the wildlife scattering around the forest floor, most scavenging for food or working on creating shelters for themselves.
The sun had just peeked up from behind the hill side to the east, illuminating the valley with an unworldly light whos reach knew no limits.
Things here were truly at peace and I found myself content to just stand there and take it all in, forever if i could.
An unrealistic fantasy of course, I had to continue my hike to reach the car lot by the weekends end so that I could return to my life back in the city.
God how I wish I didn’t have to leave this beautiful place.
Reluctantly I walked along the trail and was heading down deeper into the valley, the car lot was just over the next few ridges and I knew that if I didn't stop to often,
I could make it by nightfall. As I continued along the trail I began to hear a faint whimper coming from somewhere within the valley.
Fearing that it may be a lost child I stopped and carefully listened, seeing if I could pinpoint the direction that it was coming from.
It sounded just north of me, so I took off leaving the marked trail behind and began closing in on the wimper, fighting against thick brush and low hanging tree branches as I got closer.
The whimpering was getting louder, and sounded like it could be coming from anywhere around me now. I looked around, checking in the the thick brush for any sign of its origin.
I found nothing, I walked around around a large tree to check behind it and still, nothing. I rested against the trunk of the tree to rest for a minute, its bark rough and cool on my arm.
I felt a powerful feeling of sadness out of nowhere as I rest there, and suddenly images started flashing through my mind.
Images of large factories with black smoke emitting from tall towers, images of development sites and roadways being constructed at astounding pace.
Images of trash heaps swirling in the wind, creating what appeared to be a tornado made of fast food wrappers and scrap paper. The images disgusted me.
I stood up straight and the images vanished, but the whimpering continued.
“What was that all about?” I thought to myself, regaining my composure. Then to my amazement and disbelief I heard a low voice, almost in a whisper reply to my thought.
“The new world.” The voice said, heavy and sad.
As I was about to ask who was there more images began to whirl into my head. More images of pollution, and fires, and oil spills from all over the world.
People tearing down forests, and manufacturing plants. Again, the images stopped. Not knowing what to make of my situation I took a seat on the ground under the large tree.
“They upset you.” I heard the voice again.
Confused and frightened I asked out loud; “Who’s there?” But there was no answer. “How are you doing this, and why to me?” Still, no answer.
The whimpering had stopped and I was about to make my way back to the trail when I heard the tree that I was sitting under creak loudly in the wind.
A feeling of peace began to resurface in me as I stood there and watched the branches sway overhead.
A small droplet of water trickled off a leaf and landed on my lips, but it was salty, almost as if the tree had been crying.
I jolted awake, sweaty from being wrapped up in my sleeping bag as the sun began to warm the tent. I reached for my water jug and took a long swig before opening my tent.
I climbed out and was greeted by the warm sun, illuminating the valley of trees that sat just below my campsite.
I stood there watching them all dance in the wind, awestruck by the beauty of it all. And as I stood there I thought to myself:
“What are we as humans doing to this beautiful world?”