The sound of my feet moving slowly over loose rocks, the color of coffee, squished in the mud from the people in front of me, puts me in a trance. I take deep breaths, not heavy, just slow calm breaths.

The smell of the rocks and the mud brought me out of the trance and into a place I have never been, just a place where I used to go in my mind as a little boy.

For just a few minutes I was surrounded by large oak trees hanging over a sun glazed path. In the background was the splashing sound of water on water flowing down majestic moss covered rocks. That’s where the smell took me. It was the smell of fresh earth after the rain.

Coming back from these thoughts onto the trail, a feeling of peace came over me. Looking around, I saw the sun streaking through the branches of the trees, lighting the leaves in a way that a photograph could never capture.

When we arrived at the campsite, and I took off my backpack, the release of the weight on my shoulders made me feel like I was going to float above the earth.

As I set up my tent, rain began to fall gently, and then it stopped. The break in the weather was like a sign from God that I should start my fire. I grabbed the matches, the candle, and twigs, and, even though the wood was wet, I still made a fire.

When I make a fire in the rain it makes me so happy I want to dance. So, naturally, I did. As I was doing my dance, the rain started to fall again. I guess my little jig was a rain dance.

I sat by my fire as the rain started to fall harder and harder making tapping sounds on the hood of my raingear. But the rain did not affect the fire. As I thought about this, I realized that I want to be like the fire.

Even though the rain fell all around and in it, the fire still kept burning. It crackled and snapped as the wet wood burned, and the smoke took whatever path it chose. I want to be like the fire in the rain: strong and taking the path I choose.

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