Reflecting Once More on the Universe within the Sol Duc Rainforest
Streams of warming sunlight penetrate through the old-growth canopy of green, slipping down hundreds of feet to the sparsely-strewn understory. Tiny, brown Pacific wrens creep among brush piles, scamper over upturned roots or along downed logs searching out spiders and insects. Their tinkly, trilling songs are joined by the cheerful, whistling melodies of robins greeting the dawn sky. Ravens echo in the distance and Steller’s jays let all the world know they have arrived.
Entranced by the forest’s beauty, we silently walk the duff-lined trails witnessing a scene complete unto itself as the sweet odors of spring embrace and envelope us. Below ground, billions of fungal strands connect and branch off, securing moisture, minerals, medicinals and starches to nourish and enliven the forest’s intrinsic gifts.
These ancients stand in witness to journeys made up and down the Sol Duc River Valley. Like whales in the oceans that carry the history in their bones and songlines in their blood, the trees along the river hold history in their wood and sap, in their roots and mycorrhizal connections.
Some Douglas-fir trees, Sitka spruce, Pacific Red cedar and Western hemlock stand tall and majestic, many lean; others already on the ground offer their rotting trunks to nurse a plethora of emerging seedlings, living microbial communities and countless insects and spiders. The older deciduous, Bigleaf maples hold tons of epiphytic plants eking out a rainforest existence in meagre soils atop lichen-strewn, mossy branches.
Ringed by elder trees, skunk cabbages and ferns, a spring pond mirrors back days of blue sky, nights of slivered moonlight, canopies filled with stars and mysteries cradled in waters cold from chilling autumn rains and snow melt.
Perhaps human ancients trod similar duff-lined trails among forest beings, taking in the history, storing it in their bones, giving it witness as they traveled through the universe. I like to think their reflections helped form the beauty way… and through all of us, may it continue.
Until our next journey, peace be unto you…
And a special thank you to Michael for his awesome photos of the reflections!