Forest Ascetic

  • I'm walking through a strange forest. It's strange because of its location, on the tidal plain right next to the ocean. The forest floor is all wet sand, repeatedly moistened by incoming waves. But out of this tumultuous soil come immense Redwood trees, rising straight up into dark canopy. Others are with me on this trip, including my girlfriend, Genery. We pass the delapidated ruins of a small cabin, its right angles now askew, its Redwood boards now wet and rotting. At last we reach a spot where the waves don't constantly refresh the ground. There I sit and out of the woods comes a woman yogi. To me, she appears as a female version of Paramahansa Yogananda. She gives me some words of wisdom about love, partnership, and the spiritual life. When she leaves, I discuss the thoughts with Genery. I immediately see the beauty and clear virtue of the yogi's advice but Genery seems to disagree with some of the points, especially those about the importance of an individual's spiritual path outside the context of a relationship.