Last night I lay in bed trying to sleep. It wasn't working too well. I had lots on my mind from work and couldn't find the off switch.
So I tried to think about places that were calming for me. And one popped into my head that I hadn't thought about for years.
It was 14 years ago. Dan was turning 50.
We were at a ranch on the eastern side of the Bitterroot range in Montana. There was no running water. No indoor plumbing. But miles and miles of pastures, trees, flowers, rivers and creeks.
We had taken a hike up the mountain to see what Dan called a golden forest. I didn't believe him.
We followed a dirt road for awhile. We saw a moose in the stream. He looked at us and then returned to drinking his fill.
Then we got to a grove of aspen. Higher up the mountain, it was now fall for them. And the sun glistened through the yellow leaves turning the earth into pure gold.
A golden forest.
I bent my head back and looked up. I saw the bluest sky with golden leaves moving slowly in a breeze that only the leaves felt.
I looked down and I stood on a carpet of gold.
None of us spoke while we were there.
It was a calm, a peace that had no words.
I slept last night thinking of standing next to my brother in a golden forest. I was calm and at peace.