Rooted, I used to think.

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Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2023 @ 3:23 pm
Mischief Night

I meet Shawn in the park on the night before Hallowe’en. We ride laps through the forest, the sun setting through the trees. The night is cold, and pockets of frost have grown thick in the low parts of the park. Before all of the light has faded from the forest, I turn to Shawn.

“I’m going to show you something that you’ve never seen before.”

“I love this,” he replies with a smile. He’s alway game to follow me on a bushwhacking adventure.

He follows me across the park and into a side trail that I discovered earlier this year. I push aside a thicket of shrubs and emerge into a clearing. He catches up and stands beside me, and I swing my headlight around to show him what I’d found.

He quietly laughs.

“I may have been here before,” he says, “But it’s definitely been a long time.”

On the floor of the forest is an intricate arrangement of sticks and stones. There are many of these altars in the forest of the park, but this one is particularly special with three perfectly intact moonsnail shells.

We remain in the clearing for a while, looking carefully at the forest art, then having a snack and adding layers. His face is softly lit from my bike headlamp, which I’ve aimed across the forest for ambience. It’s like candlelight without the flicker. His soft blue eyes, the crinkles at the corners.

He reaches over to adjust my helmet.

“There,” he says. “Now it’s straight.”

Roots | Shoots