with an hour to spare this evening, i decided to spend it in the pines of my papa’s farm in south georgia. as i followed the path that leads to the tall trees i started pondering all the memories i’ve gathered there. as a child i would get dropped off by bus 16AA and run down the half-mile dirt path to home. i’d throw my bookbag in the house and fetch my horse, sox…lead her to the ceramic tub that was her water trough and sling onto her bareback before trotting off to this very same area of the farm that i walked now. i loved those afternoons.

my first horse, sassy, had thrown me head-first over her ears and onto a log after getting her belly tickled by the long grass that grows between the trees. i’d picked corn back there and pretended it was gold. i’d brought my grade-school crush back to see the okapilco creek only to get nervous and punch him in the gut. i’ve spent hours and hours back there – it definitely has legendary status in my mind. another world altogether.

walking through the rows of 50foot trees i pondered their power over me. they feel so alive, standing there watching me walk through their midst. like columns of soldiers, standing at attention ready to protect or attack – waiting on my intentions to decide which.

as i walk and think to the rhythm of my steps and the pace of the trees i finally actually used my eyes – and realized they were staring straight at another thing that truly was alive. a bobcat – staring right back at me. i stopped and stared for a few moments before side-stepping to a big stick to my left. i stared for a few more moments before picking up the exact same pace…but this time not focused on the trees. my eyes were locked to the bobcat’s the rest of the time, until we could no longer see one another. it was so strange – we were both just watching to see what the other would do. a mutual understanding that we were both being protected by those very same bark-covered soldiers.

as i came out of the woods i met my uncle joey on the tractor and told him what i’d seen. he shook his head and informed me that he never goes back there without a gun and that i should be more careful. this is all probably true, but i’m glad i got away with it this once – just trusting that i’d be fine with the tall tall georgia pines at my rescue.


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Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children.
-Kahlil Gibran

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