From the creek, a slope of cedar and mossy maple. Fractured sunlight through tree branches in forest. Rise up above creek - over moss coated scree. Arched walls of chasms yellow green. I am in fascination with cliff side vertical gardens of moss and fern, wildflower and lichen. A complexity within my span. Dark green, gray green, blue green, lemon green, olive green: moss. Flowers the size of a pin. Intensity of blue, white, purple, red. Drops of water fall glintsilver on moss covered rocks. Bees hover like moving sleep.
Curving fronds of black stalked maidenhair ferns. Alder, bleeding hearts, Columbine. Wild Iris. Red Paintbrush. Blue Lupine. There are few birds here. I do not know why. I have arrived too late for Trillium. I will not press on to Wahtum lake.
I peer onto cliff face, half lit, half shadow, and look close at one of the mosses that cling to it, I don’t know its scientific name. I see yellow dust collected below, surmise it spores. Odd shade of green unique to itself. Shape, interconnected circles like venn diagrams, indication of cycles of growth. This patched life has been here many seasons, in sun, in rain, covered by snow in convulsive January storm. Under night and day, darkness and light. Close touch its life in nature, the insects that might gather upon it. This is one bit of moss, I circle with thumb and forefinger touched.
Straight white patches of ash. Rockslides. Clamber at cliff edge on columnar basalt. Bridge over deep narrow chasm, geological fault that pierces the thick layering of volcanic cataclysm. Once the deeps opened, and mantled this region with lava. And in contorted layers of time, the rock cracked by tension. But I have stayed too late. The inevitable descent will be through darkness.
My narrow path descends deep under cliff ridge and moonlight. I am immured within cedar and moss.