“You know to be silent in the wilderness. It is that which matters, to learn to live with silence.”
—Louis L’Amour, The Californios (1974)
Lying in the dirt beside the campfire, a long hard day’s hike from the nearest road, a steaming cup of coffee in hand, watching the warm glow of sunset fade to the cool colors of night and reflecting on the day’s happenings. The falling temperature drawing a floral and earthen mélange of fragrance from the surrounding wilderness, chaparral at dusk, herbal and sweet smelt briefly between swirling plumes of wood smoke biting at the nostrils. The staccato pop and crackle of the building blaze exploding sporadically like miniature gunfire from the sandstone encircled pit, embers shoot winding into the endarkened void overhead, the aqueous din of the nearby Wild and Scenic Sisquoc River constant. It is the smallest elements, frequently overlooked, often ignored and mostly taken for granted as ordinary and boring, when attention is focused on the minutes of the moment, which can weigh heavy on the balance of life. If allowed.