Night has settled, dinner’s eaten, tent pitched. A long day of walking is over. The smell of cold in the air, lingering smoke, and chance flowers. I sit at the entrance of my flim and load a pipe, a gift from a friend. I load it well and good. This night’s for puffing.
The first cloud leaves my nostrils and lazes upward, toward the Milky Way. The Way is magnificent tonight, a scar of sheer diamonds across the heavens. The smoke fills my lungs again and, as always, collects my thoughts. For all its dangers, few things soothe the mind as tobacco does.
I reach for the mug warm from the fire and pour a measure of whiskey inside. The angry spirit dances around the nostrils, as much at home in the mountains as down below. The first sip scorches a path to my belly, the next one doubly so, the third is smooth sailing.
It’s a night of poetry, although I don’t reach for paper quite yet. There’s beauty and song and sweet lonesomeness in the air, and I’m where I should be. A thieving wind slithers across the grass and stops just long enough to sell me an old poem for my troubles.
It’s a thieving wind that steals troubles away, leaving only poetry behind. The poem goes like this:
Why do you go on and on
when Heaven and Earth don’t?
Rest, foolish man, and cultivate your soul.
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