The Perfect Stroll


     When one needs to get away, one should take a walk. Walking changes perspective. I have found that a quick stroll is often better medicine than anything available to science. And there is one stroll in particular that I go on often. It is indeed turning out to be the longest stroll that I’ve ever strolled. When I started, I was a young man, in my twenties, I’m pushing 65 and the stroll still calls me. I decided one day a very long time ago that I was going to walk through the woods, down a hill, and into a valley, where the grass was green and the deer and coyote grazed under the same trees. It was a magical place where I could forget about time. After I’d been there all afternoon walking along the crystal blue stream eating blackberries the size of apples and relaxing under the shade of a giant blue spruce, I realized that this is as close to heaven as I could ever get while breathing the cool mountain air in the last peaceful spot on earth. I could turn all the way around and see the dominance and majesty of jagged snow covered peaks, save for a little area that was the way back up the hill and into the woods and back into a place I’d rather never again be.

I laid there under that blue spruce and watched angels slowly lower the sun behind those snowy peaks and at the same time start lighting the great lamps in the sky. First one, then two, then three and four and before I knew it there were so many they were uncountable. Thousands of them, of all different colors, some twinkling, some slow and steady. They are the streetlights of Heaven and I’m glad they’re there. Because when I’m alone, I can look up at all those streetlights and know that somewhere someone is watching over me 

I tried to imagine how much better it could get, but just when I began to doze off, the hooting of an owl startled me. In between hoots I began listening to the babbling sound of the creek as it slowly winds its way into the valley and rolls past me with little currents splashing the smooth rocks along the shoreline just a few feet from my toes. The moonlight casts a silvery, yet golden flare about the water (this must be what the streets of Heaven look like, because beneath the gold and silver, I catch glimpses of fish dancing) as it ripples roundabout then off into the darkness. 

I look about the green valley in the moonlight and the now glistening peaks and close my eyes slowly. Taking in the last peaceful sight of a mother deer and her fawn making their way across the grassy moonlit valley floor, I breathe in deeply three times, tasting the night air kissed by white blooms of honeysuckle. I listen as the stream conducts its chorus, a soft melody slighted with just a hint of confusion, and it is perfect. It is all perfect. 


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