I was alone on the path that day. Sitting on a pine stump half way to the rapids, I removed the load from my back, took out my supply of water. Refreshing; satiating. I drew in a deep breath, the one you can only hear when you find yourself many miles from that perpetual buzz of traffic posts and neon lights . When I let go it sounded full and strong, mine.
All at once, a flurry of activity about me, and, what sounded like a helicopter. More clearly heard than seen, a flurry of feathers among the lower boreal branches. I understood soon after the beating of my heart exploded between my ears that I had inserted my tush where it wasn't welcome, smack in the midst of a feeding family of ruffed grouse.
Father feverishly flapped his wings in an attempt either to frighten me away or to gather his babies gone astray. Either way, he left me no time to gather up and flee because quite suddenly I found myself, again, surrounded in silence.