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  • It was 8:30 on a clear, cool morning. I swung my daypack onto my back and locked the car door. I was ready for another full day of walking through the backcountry of a redwood forest park.

    The sun was bright and the air was clear as I walked across the smooth asphalt parking lot. Suddenly, much to my surprise, I was lying flat on my back… Well, actually, flat on my pack.

    A park ranger who was driving by at that moment stopped his truck, got out, and walked over to where I lay stunned but unhurt.

    “Tell me,” he asked, “exactly how did this happen?”

    I didn’t quite know how to respond. “I’ve hiked about fifty miles through the forest this week and I haven’t fallen once.” I said, “Until now.”

    I looked down to see what has ‘caused’ my fall. There lay the offending peach pit.

    “Actually," I said to the ranger, "I wasn’t paying attention to where I stepped. Not at all in the way I do when I am on the trails."

    I realized that my inattention was because, you see, I wasn’t really hiking yet, was I?


    [Photo by Barbara, Theo Wirth Park, Minneapolis, 2014]
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