An appropriate name for a forest to contain the conversation of fathers and children.
Light shifting towards Autumn, crisp air, longer shadows- golden halos surrounding backlit rabbit brush.
The children walk; ahead, behind, lost in conversation or in their own thoughts.
Us fathers comment that it seems a victory to simply have children that would enjoy walking six miles of quiet and dusty trail in this day and age.
Make no mistake, there is nothing particularly exciting here. I’d like to believe the kids are learning how to take pleasure in simply being; breathing, walking, looking, listening- lost in thought.
Rounding a bend, a group of hunters is hauling out a deer, slung bleeding from a pole between two of them. We stop and talk. I’m glad the children see this.
Upon our exit the next day, another camp of hunters would give Adan and I cold beers, sodas for the kids. We talk about the mountains and our respective trips in a mix of English and Spanish. They tried to feed us. I’m glad the children see this too. I’m thankful there are still people in this world that would invite us into their camp for drinks. I’m thankful we’re the type of people that would accept.
The night was freezing, spent huddled around the fire in the ridiculous sort of conversation that only adolescents can bring out; no room for air, frantic gesticulating and joking for hours. Adan and I step away for some conversation of a calmer pace; laughter and screams echo from the darkness beyond. Sleeping without shelter, shivering by morning, yet still loving the experience and wanting more,we watch our kids becoming comfortable outside.
A victory for Los Padres.