Whispering Wind





Lew Goddard


 
© Copyright 2021 by Lew Goddard

Photo of the full moon (c) 2020 by Richard Loller.
                         Photo (c) 2020 by Richard Loller
                     

This is a true story of an experience in the wilds of Washington state in the 1980ís

You have found me sitting on a huge rock in the middle of my Uncleís acreage in the dark. Indeed, it was after midnight.

What happened during this interlude was unexpected.
The sky was completely clear and the moon shone in splendor such that if I had a novel, I could have read it with the light. It seemed larger than normal over that hillside in Washington State specifically in the western foothills of the Kettle River Range. I estimated that the elevation was near thirty-five hundred feet above sea level.

My original intention was to walk approximately three quarters of a mile to the south of my Uncleís residence to the foot of a hill that beckoned me to climb. When I reached my destination at its foot I was out of breath. That prompted me to find a place to sit down.

There were ample large rocks to rest on and I chose the one at hand. A few minutes later I found I was quite uncomfortable with something crawling all over me. Coincidentally, I had chosen the home of Ants by the thousands. I had to move.

Several feet away, I found a different resting place and searched it and around the immediate area. No ants. The height of this particular rock was better and seemingly more comfortable to sit on.

There was no sound except for my heart beat. The silence was not something I was familiar with, coming from a large city some nine hundred miles away. It seemed as if it had paralyzed me. I sat quietly immobile. I was lost in the vast silence.

To the west, I was able to see a valley and a highway. The headlights on the occasional vehicle looked like fireflies in the forest. From where I sat it was probably five miles to the highway in the river valley.

The vantage point allowed unequaled parameters of surveillance. Isolation is comforting if you are happy within and enjoying the amenities of the area. Lack of sound surrounded me.

My Uncle told me that there were no bears in the region but I didnít know for sure. The rifle lay across my lap.

I donít know how long I sat as if in a trance when I heard something behind me resembling the sound of something brushing against a tree branch. I did not move.

Physical movement appeared peripherally, but I didnít move. A Deer, then two appeared. A Buck and a Doe slowly walked to my right, not more than twenty-five feet from me.

The Buck with his impressive rack stopped and stared at me. He shook his head and made a snorting sound but he didnít move any further. The Doe behind him also stared. It seemed like forever, that constant stare. They obviously knew that there was something wrong. Of course, I knew they could smell my scent and probably wondered why I didnít move. My imagination knew that it was not long before they moved but it seemed like several minutes.

The Buck turned his head and directly back to stare at me again. Surprisingly, they slowly moved a few feet, then stopped and looked at me again. He dipped his head and pulled the wild grass into his mouth and chewed. This was so plain because the moon was so bright. I realized that I had been holding my breath and let it go. Unfortunately, thatís all it took for the Deer to move swiftly into the forest and gone from sight.

Why they felt no danger I will never know but, it was an experience that I will never forget.

A Crow created a sound as if it was changing positions in the nest. Yet another part of the silence and the forest.

A flash of lightning caught my eye. Another range of mountains to the west flared with the light. It must have been twenty or so miles distant because I heard no thunder.

Stars twinkled like millions of space ships in the air. Formations that we are familiar with and are named were plainly visible. It is utterly amazing to know that there are a multitude of space stars and planets. The mind-boggling immensity cannot be fathomed by the human mind.

What is beyond what we can see? If we had a space vehicle that would never run out of fuel, would we fly forever?

A sound arose from behind me somewhere in the forest. At first it was just a sigh and it resembled tumbling water. I imagined that the wind had an identity and far away on a mountain it reared back and forced out huge mouthful of wind. It grew in intensity and I felt a breath of wind leave the trees. The new sound was not unlike a semi-truck rushing down the highway. The velocity increased and I could feel the tremendous change in the atmosphere until I realized that it might be more than wind and indeed, could be a wild mountain storm.

The trek back to my holiday trailer near the residence brought heavy wind that seemed to furl around me from all directions. The wind seemed like it played in the clearing where I was situated. It rolled over and by me and the forest as it rushed along. It blessed me with its might. My baseball cap flew off my head and fortunately it ended ahead of where I was going. The long wild grass waved like water and the trees s braced for the onslaught.

I walked with the wind until I reached my destination and it started to release us from its fury. The atmosphere was more alive and it excited me.

Strangely I could hear it sweep into the valley until there was very little wind where I was standing. It left me with the feeling that nature had enjoyed this fling and the wind would come again. It was not as silent as before but it was quiet.

My mind video often looks back to that experience. It was a once-in-a-lifetime episode so that it is indelible. It was a short period of time but yet massive in its effects.

It remains as a time that I was totally involved with nature and at peace with the world.

EPILOGUE

(If the sun is red then why is the reflection on the moon and stars not red? How far does the universe stretch out? How does the sun keep burning and where does the fuel come from?

Why do stars twinkle or is that a defect in the human sight? Why do we not collide with meteors more often?

These are questions that perhaps have been answered but to the layman that I am, I have these and many more questions).

This is a true story that happened more than thirty years ago and if I go out in the dark at any time, I can recall every moment in the foothills of Washington.




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