1 February 2002
Marching down the wintry road, it occurred to me that roads and marching were the instruments of war. It was a logging road, after all. I was just out for a walk--but with what murderous intent? Stride, stride, stride...what fight was I determined to wage, the path cleared for me into the heart of the wilderness?
True, I was filled with a sullen anger, over personal affronts: the boss hadn't returned my call; my wife was in a bad mood; I couldn't make any clear decisions despite a morning poring over the budget. I hated being left hanging, not knowing what was to come.
When I realized what I must look like, in the eyes of the forest, it gave me pause. In fact I stopped in my tracks--and turned straight off into the pathless, snowy woods. The strange thing was, I kept right on marching, with more gymnastic effort required to go around and over the bent saplings and fallen trees.
What a crashing idiot I was, in that still, silent forest!
Then a sudden flash caught my eye: white on white--a rabbit, teasing, first hopping out from behind a log, then turning back under, and bounding away.
I followed, a little way, until my guide vanished...leaving me with the mystery of not-knowing, pen in hand.
The woods are silent again--and so am I.
The air is brighter now.
"White Rabbit" is included in a collection of essays in e-book format (pdf). Coming Home: Nature and Me and Other Essays is available now for free download.
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