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  • As long as I live, I'll hear waterfalls and birds
    and winds sing. I'll interpret the rocks, learn the
    language of flood, storm, and the avalanche.
    I'll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens,
    and get as near the heart of the world as I can.

    John Muir

    Into the high back country, across lupine-filled meadows,
    fields of Indian Paintbrush, swamps of fragrant skunk cabbage,
    along clear icy streams, over slides of broken grey granite...

    We pass small blue lakes, chill and fresh from winter snow,
    then stop, to rest our horses, swim, lie in the mountain sun.
    Cheese sandwiches for lunch, grapes, Hershey bars.

    Another 5 miles, we make camp, put up olive green tents,
    pound stakes into the hard ground with stones,
    lay down tarps, unroll our sleeping bags, settle in.

    Soon, wranglers feed the horses, light the fire,
    cook a cowboy dinner of beef chili, corn bread, honey.
    Later, ghost stories, songs, drumming, laughter.

    I decide to sleep under the stars, find an open space
    away from camp, the Sierra sky a bowl of diamonds.
    When I fall asleep, I float slowly up into indigo blue.

    Never in my life have I felt so close to the Great Spirit,
    Never so close to the Great Heart of Love that sustains us all.

    (Photograph by Alex in the Pine Forest, Heart Garden Center, in the 3-D virtual world of Second Life)
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