Friday, March 22, 2013

In the Depths of the Earth

   The old mill house was situated beneath the mossy rocks of a ridge that guarded the stream as it frolicked and laughed it's way through the valley. Water seeped out of the hillside, and dripped continuously down until the earth consumed it again. Hidden by the trees, a yawning entrance to a cave waited expectantly for an adventurous soul to explore it's depths. The grass was lush, ferns abounded, and moss reached with feathery fingers to encircle the trees. If a person had a healthy helping of curiosity they might follow the ruined aqueduct that ran alongside the creek; or, drawn on by the enriching beauty of the shy flowers at their feet, or the song of the water, they would find the origins of this happy little burn. Yet, not the beginnings, for those remain a mystery to me still. There stands an opening to a great cavern, the pool just inside pouring its cool waters into the swimming hole below. Sunlight, no matter how bright, can only penetrate so far. This is where the healthy helping of curiosity must be a hearty one if any were to discover to the full the mysteries that dwell in caves. Lofty corridors and constricting passages led and misled. Stalactites drip, dripped onto the expectant stalagmites, ever growing in silent agreement to a closer union. The bats were furry, and the spiders were large. I cannot inform you of the texture of the spiders, as we didn't pet them. Hidden chambers were guarded by impossible entrances; some perched above sheer waterfalls, others behind narrow, misshapen doorways. Four hours of exploration brought us to a room with terraced pools and a mountain of slippery and shifting rock that glowed as though with moonlight. It was a frightening climb as we were tired, wet and one misstep could have killed. Worn out, broken ropes taunted, as if they could tell of some unfortunate guest's past demise. The light strengthened into daylight and we broke out into the cold sunshine and wind of the world we knew. 

 The impossible "doorway" that I got stuck in.

The hidden entrance
(And what we looked like afterwards. My jeans used to be blue.)

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