Voices on the Wind Open Theme
Crescent City by Leslie Clark A foghorn moans through the ever-swirling coastal mist. Male sea lions, on hiatus from stud duty elsewhere, bellow as they jostle for space on a harbor platform. A few, broken away from the pack, glide through water with a great flapping of tails, near the dock where we sit. Today, the aqua water is placid, though nearby signs relate devastation wrought by a tsunami here just a few years ago, when this dock and myriads of boats were drowned and swept out to an angry sea. Down the road, a perfect sickle-moon of beach curves gracefully to meet dense forest. Later, we bump our rented SUV down a road that weaves through old-growth redwoods. Roadside ferns flourish in spite of being eternally dust-browned by passing traffic. Deer, having thousands of acres to roam, choose to graze at the very rim of the lane, staring at passing motorists with their fathomless dark eyes. Near the visitors’ center, a young ranger chokes back a sob as he tells a small group how he retreated from years of hospice work to this forest where he witnesses constant renewal of protected nature. Occasionally a breeze carries a whiff of smoke from a human-ignited conflagration just fifty miles inland. Alone on a prayerfully silent woodland trail, we pause to gaze in neck-strained wonder at one of the tallest ancient trees, its emerald crown barely visible. One of thousands of world’s wonders we will never have the capacity to comprehend.