Tuesday February 26 2013
The white floor of the narrow valley glows ghostly white from the full moon hidden behind the clouds. Snow sifts lightly to the earth, powdering the pines needles, dusting my feet like the forest floor, caressing my hair, brushing my upturned face gently before leaving its cold kiss. The snowflakes are as a mist on the distant luminescent hills.
I sharpen my ears and summon an archaic language and call into the night. The sound reflects off the side mountain, echoes down the valley, rolling through the peculiar muffled silence of falling snow. And in the fold of forest between the hills, a barred owl answers, first distant, then closer:
Who who who-who who-who-who whoooooo.
We converse a while, he and I, his eerie sonorous articulations bearing the gift of contact with another world we seldom get to share.
He is a seer of souls: perhaps he is guarding the spirits of the dead who have tramped these forests and mountains. Perhaps he is hinting at the sacred knowledge he keeps.
Perhaps we are sharing consciousness, an unenlightened, unworldly human and an otherworldly, wise owl, ruler of the night.