The trail descends the hillside steeply and then opens onto a long-eroded wash which has become a lush herb-filled clearing. The sun streams down through the break in the canopy and there are dragonflies happily flitting about. In the edges of the clearing, there is barely discernible a second shrine.
It can barely be called a shrine but there is a little sign naming it the Scrondigulous Shrine. It is a natural cave in the side of the rockface but there are three walking sticks propped to the left of the cave, ready for use. Inside the cave is a small natural totem formed from a branch, perhaps three feet tall. It is uncarved but appears to be in the shape of a wild musician who is dancing and playing a flute.
IMG: ancient writing of the tree roots
On the trail leading from the shrine and on into the woods, the roots of elderly trees take an ancient form that looks like writing. A breeze riffles through the branches causing first one stand of trees to become exuberant and than the next. On the breeze you can hear the call of birds minding their chores, the splash of forest brooks, and even the wistful hollow sounds that indicate a living place.
The spirit of the sacred takes an infinite number of forms. It is the Hearer who honors them.