Monday, 5 March 2012

Meditation No.2 The Walk Through The Forest

I turn away from The Bay. There's a narrow path that leads into the forest. It's illuminated by the slowly rising sun which catches the damp on the leaves and reflects a thousand glittering dewdrops. I walk along the path and push my way into the forest.

It's dimly lit, still holding onto a soft blanket of night, but rays of early morning sunlight reach through the trees and hang in the air in gold coloured shafts. I can feel the cool, moist air on my skin, and the soft mossy ground beneath my feet.

The trees of the forest tower above my head: palms and giant ferns, woven with a chaotic network of Kareao vines. Somewhere nearby I can hear water splashing across the rocks of a small waterfall.

The path winds through the jungle inland. Somewhere along the journey, the water I had heard gushing down the waterfall earlier, intersects the path from the left and I cross it using a small wooden-planked bridge. The stream now flows past me alongside the path as I head up a gentle hill. Large rock-faces now puncture through the undergrowth to my left, and the stream excitedly burbles and fizzes down its stony course.

The path is running under a rocky overhang. Deep into the jungle and sheltered by the half-cave I am walking through, the sunlight doesn't penerate in rays like before, and I walk through a grey-blue gloom. But now overhead, tiny white-blue lights glimmer from the damp walls. Dotted in small patches, glow worms cling to the rocks and hang, glowing like a hundred LEDs. The trail of lights lead the way until the undergrowth breaks through the rocks once more and I am heading out of the jungle and back onto the Island coast.

The sky in front of me is now an odd pinkish-grey: the kind of light you get just after an evening storm in summer, when the setting sun dips below the dark clouds and hits the earth almost horizontally, giving everything a kind of chiroscuro-sharp focus. The forest to my right yeilds to moss-covered rocks. The rock face is too steep and high to climb, but in front of me the rocks gradually break up. The path leads towards these rocks and then bends to the left and runs alongside them.

And here, carved into the rocks, are hexaganol stone pillars reaching taller than my head and lined up alongside each other like a giant three dimensional jigsaw. They're cold and damp to the touch, and are covered with the same spongey moss that forms the pathway through the rocks.

Gradually the size of the rock-puzzle decreases, and the weather-worn tops of the pillars become low enough to look over. Now, beyond the maze of stone I can see water stretching out ahead of me: the same pink-grey of the sky, motioness except for a gentle lapping ripple on the surface. On the horizon, a small and distant thunderstorm rumbles grumpily away, lightening flashing intermittently through the cloud.

And then the hexagonal pillars gradually become nothing more than stepping stones, and I pick my way across them towards the waters edge and stand for a while, breathing in the fresh, crisp air and watching the meandering lights in the distance.

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