“Where does this go? Let’s take this deer trail and see if it takes us into town.” Susan’s adventurous spirit is, in my opinion, one of her finer attributes. What a treasure to have a friend more curious than me.
We ducked though an innocuous opening in the bush and left civilization behind with no concern for dangerous wildlife; not on our island.
The beginning of the narrow, crude and steep trail had been somewhat altered by someone who built rudimentary steps and posted ‘tongue in cheek’ signs along the trail. While some would thoroughly appreciate the humour, others would share my disappointment over a blatant display of human encroachment. I rationalized these discoveries by deciding it was done by the owner who could not yet afford to build on the property. During our descent into more rain forest, the sun was mostly obliterated. Suddenly we arrived at a sunny spot. I had to appreciate the cheeky sign poster at this point:
Susan and I climbed over logs, wove through thistles that came to our shoulders, tred carefully over mossy roots that secured the pebbly path and slid over rocky outcrops. At times the trail was obscured, but we’d find indications of which direction the deer would go and resume our trek.
“We might find squatters,” Susan warned. “If we do, we can just talk loud so we don’t scare them.” She waved her web-clearing-stick like a baton as she continued to lead the way. We were now past any sign of human habitation.
I grinned over the thought that two older women, breaking through the bush brandishing a stick covered with layers of cob webs, would offer concern to street people who have suffered endless invasions of privacy. More likely, they would concern themselves over being hexed by a couple of hoodoos that must have broken loose and come alive.
As we continued down the mountain, glimpses of our small town fueled more guessing over our point of descent. Village landmarks provided clues, but the mystery prevailed.
“There’s a tarp,” whispered Susan. We stopped to listen; we heard both male and female voices.
We carefully secured our footing and zigzagged down toward the squatter’s clearing. Suddenly their conversation stopped. I knew they heard us.
“Don’t be scared, we’re just hiking through,” I shouted. A woman responded in tones of acceptance.
Because the deer trail fizzled out completely in this open area, we had to approach their site to ask direction. Two beautiful young women and a young man greeted us with gentleness and large grins. They were preparing to have breakfast.
The young women were beautiful and anything but street people.
We engaged them in conversation long enough to learn that both girls were employed on the island, but typical of casual labour, they could find no place to rent. They had to live in their tents, without water, and risk being blasted by the authorities for having a fire during hazardous dryness. It was their only means of cooking food. One of the young woman who does landscaping work, had hurt her leg so is not even able to work now.
“Is this where you want to be? Here on the island?” I asked. They assured us that this was an adventure and they really did not mind the experience.
Susan and I carried on in the direction they pointed. How far had we come down in the hour of descent?
The rest of the route was an old logging road. We explored it from two directions. One took us to a familiar spot two kilometers from town so we back tracked and headed towards the village.
After our morning’s love affair with our rain forest, we let familiarity and friendliness embrace us as we devoured a hearty omelet breakfast laced with well-prepared Americano decafs.
Hello my Beloveds. In my enthusiasm to share a magical mystery stomp, I’ve eaten up lots of space and time.
It is a joy to know your happiness while in Nature, especially in the company of an intimate friend.
Susan and I sometimes have to remember to look at the scenery. We love sharing our lives with each other. Some trails on the island hold our deepest secrets. And the amazing thing about our seasoned friendship? I still learn surprising aspects of Susan and myself when we’re together.
On this hike, Susan told a story about an incident that happened last week. It had a profound impact on her and, each time she has shared it with another loved one, she’s learned more and more about herself. It hasn’t quit giving its riches.
The maturity of a human soul determines the depth of insight one sees in any event. When the richness of an situation is ignored by another, it is loving to accept their level of spiritual development. However, we often encourage a well-considered question that could create an awakening or awareness.
Are you building a case?
We do want to comment on the young people in the tents.
Were you peeking into my heart about their predicament?
You asked one of them a good question. It was a good question because it was from your heart. You asked if they were where they wanted to be.
How do I know the young woman answered with the truth? What if she is really scared to death?
Her answer is not your responsibility. Your responsibility was to ask the question. If she was frightened and chose to hide it, that is a matter she needs to consider about herself. If she was not being honest, your question is still with her. If she is frightened, she will need to make a decision. Your question presented a chamber into which she can enter when she is ready.
Are you able to tell me if they really are okay?
We offer no direction to encourage your intervention.
When or if it is time for me to help someone, do you always give me my cue?
Yes and most often you have listened. There are times when you have second guessed your decision unnecessarily. During those times we hope you will discern whose needs you are wanting to have filled. What one person deems an appropriate solution for another may be the most inappropriate gesture for the one who is choosing to suffer.
Sometimes I feel helpless. Does that demonstrate my self-centeredness?
You do ask good questions.