Dreams are powerful tools that can help guide anyone to success and happiness. They represent some cherished aspiration, an ultimate ideal of achievement.

The word sylvan refers most directly to a setting associated with the woods. Reflecting on the vigorous life that abounds in sylvan settings is a very powerful force in my life. For me, this word evokes feelings of transcendence, clarity, and unity.

A Sylvan Dream is a dynamic compilation of my life dream. It is an attempt to seek out and document the truth, beauty, and clarity that exists in this world.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Wet and Beautiful

The early morning light opens my eyes around 5am each morning as it creeps up over the mountaintops on the opposite eastern side of the valley some mile or two away. The mornings are crisp, and the first thing I do as I sit up and slide out of my bivvy sack is put on my sweatshirt that I use as a pillow, and slide on my pants I have beneath my legs where I sleep.

After a year hiatus, the cold mornings have broken me, and I now drink coffee again. Cupping the mug in both my hands, I watch birds flit by on the mountainside as the daylight grows, the clouds sweep up the valley from below, and I await breakfast.

The days are long, slow, and inconcievably enjoyable. I hike thirty minutes or so to my site, and prepare for the morning's work, putting on one thermal layer, raincoat, and rainpants. As I leave the trail and begin creeping up through the thick forest, I half wince, half relish the first cool drops of water that fall on my cheeks from the mossy branches as I weave through the thick vegetation, climbing, half crawling up the mountainside. From time to time, I find myself staring off through the low canopy as thoughts of home, future plans, missed people, or a beautiful birds catch my attention. One morning, a red flash far off through the canopy caught my attention, and I smiled as my eyes focused on the mountain toucan I have been seeing every few days. I called to it through the woods-a mixture of a hen chicken and a veloci raptor-and the toucan's head jerked to the side, slowly shifted 90 degrees, and then jerked to the other side. Over the next twenty minutes I called them to within a few meters of me, and watched them pass in the canopy above before continuing with my work.

Searching for nests is hard and tedious. I think to do this work and not go crazy you must either really love doing, or just be a very diligent person. I just really love roaming through the woods in a grid-like pattern each day taking part in essentially the hunt to end all easter egg hunts. When my eyes fall upon a small grass-lined opening in a ball of moss hanging from the side of a tree, my heart jumps a little bit. Most of the time I reach inside to just find an empty cavity, just a shadow of a home. One time I saw something odd in the obscure darkness of the rainy forest peaking out at me, and as I reached up and poked it in confusion the face of a mouse recoiled from my finger. This old nest had been taken over by a family of five jungle mice. Not what I was looking for.

As I head back up the mountainside on my way back to lunch around 1230, usually the skies have thickened in confusion over whether it was time to rain or not. A thick mist descends upon the mountainside, and for awhile that is all you think it is when suddenly ten minutes later I realize my shoulders are damp and the chill is licking at my sides. I brush my hand over my beard to find it rather wet but not dripping. Each day it seems this is how the rain comes, subtly sneaking dampness into your clothing, making you realize you should have put on your rain gear.

For me, this is a blessed place, a haven, and a mirror into the person I am trying to be.

I would like to write more but my time is up in this small internet cafe in the mountain town in which I have chosen to pass my day off. I hope you all are well.

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