Saturday, September 29, 2007

A Warming Pursuit.

A high afternoon sun pressed fatigue upon the elderly man. He had endured countless days similar to the present along this particular trail, but failed to remember a time when his readily resources felt so depleted. Perhaps he was not fully prepared for the unseasonable warmth. The satchel was loaded a bit hastily this particular morning, he thought, maybe his pace was quicker than usual. There seemed to be more anxious energy upon him when he initiated his strides today. Such vigor, in combination with knowledge of a pending change of season, appears to be adequate explanation to why he rested under the shade of an aged Pocosin Pine. At once his worn denim embraced the leave-covered soil beneath him, and the soft fleece covering his back leant upon the tree’s bark, residing the man comfortably situated and reminiscent of past expeditions along this trail. He had always appreciated the aroma of the coastal autumn air and the assortment of fauna, which happily lingered in its greeting until the brisk and heavy air of the winter months forced them to seek out hidden comfort. He denoted the hardening months as ideal for witnessing a variety of shorebirds fleeing the rough, surrounding mid-Atlantic stretches for placate, inviting air to the south. Or, the white-tailed doe edify her impressionable fawn with skills in forage and meticulous alertness. Truly splendid glimpses of life that rewarded the early mornings and restless evenings brought upon by stiff joints and sore muscles attributed to ripened exertion. With minimal reluctance, the man believed these cherished occasions were becoming stale, and more and more unfulfilling. However, there was always one moment, beautifully etched in his mind, which he coveted more than all the other lasting, and now passing, occasions. It was with this thought that the man found inside him the sentiment that caused his unease, and suddenly lifted his formerly weary person off the consolidated ground.

At the apex of his reflection, the man felt a surreal connection to this instance of his past. He continued along the rocky trail, lifting his refreshed limbs and bearing the fallen canopy beneath his soles. The cover above now separated the red star from him, and he pushed forward towards an overview, which had been the setting of his prior fulfillment. Jubilant thoughts marched through the forefront of his mind, and seemingly instantaneously he approached the ridge above the steeply graded relief. Peering down the hillside at the stream’s meandering banks, the man reviewed the familiar scene. He rested his satchel in a bed of marsh grass and hoisted his body up a set of stacked boulders to scan the horizon. With great care, the man searched each cluster of Sassafras, every protruding Maple, in search of the elusive and disappearing moment. The notion was outlandish, but not unqualified. He may have only shed eyes upon the canid for several seconds within the hundreds of hours spent in these coastal woods, but the man was eager and his motives were clear.

The meticulous dissection of the view continued for the remainder of this afternoon, but the man would not be satisfied until dusk had suppressed all but the final rays of light. This rehashed memory had brought the man an insatiable delight he was not going to allow to subside on his accord. He knew the Red Wolf had only survived the excessive hunting and elimination of natural habitat, which forecasted its eminent doom, through cunning and resourceful habits. The fleeting illumination was ideal for the nocturnal hunter, but the man had by now realized his opportunity, though pursued, was now futile. He turned his slumped shoulders away from the setting sun, and locked his fragile fingers into the grooves of the boulder, readying his slight decent. But it was at this precise point when the man heard an anticipated rustle of dried leaves that pricked his attentive ears. The sound sent elated hope, as he suddenly twisted his attentive eyes to the source that was now to his back. Gazing into the nearest tree line, the man caught a glimpse of the cause to this encouraging commotion. Darting in between the jutting deciduous trees, the man witnessed a matured doe confidently racing with her fawn along the streams edge. The man reluctantly released a half-hearted smile at the two magnificent creatures, as he admired the pursuit of the idyllic predator with endowed fervor.

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