He watched them as they made their way up the trail through the foothills of the Flatirons. Like most who hike the trails they were unaware of his silent presence. Yet he watches them all. Some with dogs, some with children. Walking and talking. Playing spelling games, sharing life dramas. There but not really there. Not really present, just passing through. Not hearing the bird songs or noticing the herd of white tail deer grazing on a nearby hill. Yet to every one of them he whispers on the wind to be still. To feel the Earth beneath their feet. To breathe deeply and be present in this place, in this moment. For he is the Guardian Spirit of the mountains.
Very few hear the whispers. But this day it would be different. Different for two young hikers who stopped to collect the last remnants of snow, gather sticks and pine cone needles, and huddle under the shade of a nearby tree to sculpt their creation. They heard the wind whispers. And, although they may not have realized what they were doing, they gave shape to the Guardian Spirit.
This story is from a recent visit with my sister, nephew and nieces in Boulder, Colorado where one sunny day we hiked the Flatirons near their home. Although this story isn’t set in Ireland it echoes the wisdom of the Irish spiritual ancestors. The call to be in right relationship with the Earth. A relationship that does not come from passing through the landscape but attending closely the beauty and spirit of the land.