Today, in torrential rain, Siouxie, the younger Jack Russell followed me down into the lower meadow, across the fallen tree bridge, around the teepee platform into the forest.  We haven’t been down here for two years, and today, in the dark of December, –  both of us already wet to the skin – it is at its most beautiful.  The leaves from the big maples are as big as platters and coloured Hermes orange. the green is psychedelic, and the wet brown as vivid, crawling with life.

We climb the hill, the avenue wide, bordered by cedar and fir, all huge and old, draped in moss, the ground carpeted in orange, and the creek is wild – raging – white water –  a dozen waterfalls follow one upon the other.  We reach the top of the hill.  Siouxie looks at me, and uncharacteristically hesitates on the incline, 80 degrees, thirty feet down.  I’m not sure either.  But, it’s too beautiful not to, so we slide down, inching, me clinging to branch after branch.

Then we are in a lost world.  No human has been here in decades, but me and that only once or twice – this is crazy land.  Untended, sound deafening, and we wade across the creek, clamber up the other side and in about a half hour of bushwhacking through the enchanted forest, we’re back at the Pink House, drenched, filthy, exhilarated, happier than either of us has been in weeks.

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