A Voice in the Forest

The wind whistles past my ears. It carries the songs of the birds and other animals chattering in the forest. I can hear my friends, but their voices are fading.

It was a holiday in Costa Rica, a trek through Monteverde, one of the deep cloud forests there rich with life. Hundreds of miles distant from our home, but a world away from noisy city life.

Our guide was enthusiastic and accustomed to walking these nature trails. He told us the species of the birds behind each call, the type of monkey chattering, or pointing out the geckos when he heard rustling in the lower vegetation.

He told us about the area and the local climate, how the sun’s heat draws out the moisture from the ground after the rain and forms low level clouds. Trees rise tens of meters, stabbing their way through the mist, supporting and carrying their ecosystems into the heavens above.

Even through the mist we saw the chasm in front of us, a ravine with a rope bridge to take us across. I couldn’t see how deep it was, but the clouds beneath us gave the impression of immense height.

“Hold the ropes on each side, and step forwards slowly.”

We listened to our guide and followed his instructions. The woode...

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Paul Sterlini
Oct 3 2020

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