What caught her attention? Perhaps she smelled a predator. My limited ability can only detect a slight waft of floral essence but wild roses are close by. Pine is more prevalent and the stickiness of the sap and the rough tree bark come to mind. Sniff. Sniff. Wait! There’s a whiff of onion too. Maybe she stepped on some wild onion.
The air seems dry even though it is early evening. Yesterday’s mosquito bite on my ankle starts to itch and I am reminded that the gnats that will soon start to hover. I continue to scan the area wondering if I could step closer. There are a couple of boulders I could hide behind but the tall grassy patch would give me away. My shoeless feet would need to be careful of the randomly fallen, prickly patches of pinecones.
Why is she still so vigilant? Maybe she heard something. It’s so quiet I can only hear the peaceful hush of my breathing in and out and the steady beat of my heart. It’s almost like I am in a bubble yet I feel the spaciousness and beauty of a cathedral as I enjoy this intimate moment. The innocent harmony of nature makes it seem like it was created just for my personal benefit.
“Mom?” a small voice quivers, intruding on my thoughts. “Mom?” I hear a little louder. Glancing up I see my daughter peering quizzically into my face. I look to my right. My one son is fiddling with a squishy toy. Scanning to the left my husband leans over our other son. He’s smiling yet his eyes ask, “What’s going on?” My gaze falls back down to the book lying open in my lap. It’s a nature hide and seek book and we’re gathered in the kitchen.