Hiking quotes

Shannon L. Alder
“The smell of decaying meat doused with the pungent, sickly sweet smell of rotted fruit filled the night. It was the familiar scent of the corpse flower chardonnay that every nurse drank on funeral day while toe-tagging her patient. I wondered what this man must have been thinking before he abruptly ended his life. Did it resemble anythingiar? Jilted ex-girlfriend’s Pinterest quotes, ADD, pious Facebook pages, self-righteousness, the Tenth Commandment, Buddhist karma gone wrong, witch hunts, toxic paranoia, insecure women, loss of faith, one too many Xanax on a Saturday night, Wuthering Heights, religious hypocrisy, the DSM manual, Sylvia Browne, guilt-induced testimonies at a rock-and-roll church, embarrassing cyber photos, a wrong diagnosis, cancer, divorce, a broken contract, separation, bankruptcy, feuding neighbors, a scandalous trip to watch Chippendale dancers in Vegas, eco-friendly cleansing products gone bad, or day-old ice cream that was not lactose friendly. The body's coldness crept into my soul. If angels were near, so was the dark. I walked over to a tree and threw down my backpack, then waited for the coroner to arrive. This corpse once had a name, mother, father, children, soul, and even a life. How leveling this moment was when I saw the untidiness of death, so far removed from hospital beds and rose-scented rooms filled with last-minute farewells and the proverbial prayer line. I sifted through my gear for a shred of paper and a pen so that I could try to find peace within my storm. Then, as my habitual poetic thoughts flooded my head and started to make sense out of the unfairness of this death, I scrawled out my emotional thoughts onto a notepad, “You have your beliefs. I have my beliefs. As for the right belief, the correct belief, and the only belief, it does not exist, nor does it matter. It is the diversity among us all that makes compassion grow, acceptance and love expand beyond the rules and desires of earthly men. Perception has no color. When we add majestic hues to our imaginations, we fail to see anyone who falls outside that shade. We will see only the rainbows in our own self-imposed sanctuary of rightness.” I stood there silent. Angry that no one attended this man’s funeral … not even a pastor. I am certain he must have left a letter. There is always a clue if you choose to see past your own pain. How dare they allow it to happen. I ripped the page out of the notepad and crumpled it. No. That is not how this man wanted to be remembered nor how I wished to remember one of God’s forgotten children. The night sky and the stars that twinkled above us held more answers. I whispered to myself, “May we all have faith to believe that an angel held onto him tightly until her wings tore and her eyes shed blood … before He called him home.” I guess Emme heard me praying. She walked toward me, grabbed my hand, bowed her head, and said, “Lord, bless us so that we can hike faster. Read more...
Shannon L. Alder