The mountain strikes me with its exuberant greenness. Green covers such an expansive chromatic range, the pastel of lichens, the dusky dark of some of the conifers, the emerald brightness of the moss in the dripping woods. Then the mottled grays speckled with russets, ochres, oranges, and the glassy reptilian shininess of the greens, blues and black of serpentine. Surely this rock is well named, the mountain is studded with its outcrops. Its acidic nature controls the plant communities that grow on and amidst it, some species, like some manzanita, uniquely adapted to it. Rocks break through the surface, through the skin of the land, and through my psyche; these are minor acts of revelation. Do their spirits call for my attention? Some emerge and others seem aloof, concealed. The mountain runs with dozens, probably hundreds of creeks, some whispering, some chortling and some singing melodiously as they tumble down their courses; some in a hurry and others meandering. I come to a bench, a perfect place for practice, a creek just to my side; just beyond the trail sketchily climbs up a rock strewn slope. Directly in front of me is a meadow, where two deer emerge from their camouflage, white tails flashing, and do a weird high stepping routine. Irises grow around me, faded violet, pinkish, they seem late as do many of the wildflowers, extending their blooming season in this late wet season.
The soft rain does not deter me; it makes for more solitude. I only come upon a few people. Solitude, an interesting word to poke and prod at. We think of solitude as being key to spiritual practice, we meditate in solitude, in that aloneness. But paradoxically it is a setting aside of ego where often other voices emerge, perhaps out of self or from our surroundings. In our abiding the boundaries between self and other slips, we become much more permeable than in ordinary situations. We are immersed in spirit(s), surrounded and permeated with a multitude of intelligences. The mountain is speaking, whispering, uttering all around me.