The sign says, "Muir Woods National Monument". John Muir called these redwoods coated in crimson wool "monuments". A ribbon of packed-dirt trail runs through this park. Striped-faced chipmunks, busy in their harvesting of seeds, move as industrious person population. They speak a translation of redwood… which sounds to my ears as very different. I do not pretend to know the secrets told between these very large and these diminutives.
Branch to branch the magnificent redwoods impart ancient truths through color, vibration and scent. Tips of twigs on lacy limbs make small dances: dew collected then let go, bathing and tickling the branches below.
Alligator lizards scurry around and up. I look up to see a hover-craft hummingbird. He doesn't care what I call him. He would call me an oblivious wanderer, see me as slow-moving, not purposed like the banana slug when seeking food.
Swords ferns. These delicate plants, eons old, are a constant source of oxygen. I crave their foliage emission; my lungs exchanging smog for medicine, my thoughts for their thoughts. They reveal to me only green, saving the color orange for higher beings such as trees who know their worth beyond water, light, theology and photosynthesis.
I do not disturb the large-leafed sorrel sacred flower, gentle and wise. Something must be left at the altar beyond my reach. This yellow-faced laughing bloom speaks nothing against me, wide-eyed and vulnerable, desiring only the music of redwoods.
Soon the fog rolls in to blanket what it must protect, not just against the heat of summer, but to hinder further encroachment of the grove. And so, it fades the air in mist and lace.