Inevitably it rains, the chirrup of the forest night
muted by a thousand tiny drumbeats of raindrops on our
tent roof. The smell of smoldering firewood clings to
everything, a rustic bouquet accented by hints of
pine, damp dirt, decaying leaves, our humid sweat.
The scents mingle until there is no differentiation,
we have become our forest selves--a stray leaf settles
in your hair as proof. Tiny stones and dirt clamber to fill the
space between my toes. They, in turn, yearn to become roots,
and that itself is the lure: We seek out this tiny isolation to
lose ourselves in the nothingness, the simplicity that is
not the us of every day. This is the reset button: Start anew.
The rain slows, then fades, forest noises reassert. I cannot
help but succumb to primal anxiety in this darkest hour.
Confronted by such elemental weakness, I bemoan the fact
that there are no superheroes whose indefatigable strengths
are love and patience, understanding, faith, and the ability to
withstand the sudden onslaught of painful memories.
--Martin A. Bartels