Hiking Badger

From a distance, Badger Mountain looks like a barren pile of dirt crowned with cell phone towers. There are no waterfalls, cliffs, or forests—not even a single tree. Yet there is beauty here, and life in abundance, but you have to let go of your expectations of beauty to really see it.

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Wildflowers everywhere cluster in tiny galaxies of color, making me imagine the universe as a cosmic garden and our tiny world as a fleck of fertile soil. Pastel-green grass tipped with white fuzz makes the hill look as if it were dusted with snow. Lichens, sagebrush, insects, and scavenging rodents add to the diversity of this ecosystem, and the whispered whistle of the wind in the grass and the complex music of songbirds weave a delicate harmony over the hill.

I feel deep gratitude for witnessing these treasures, for the time to sit on this small peak and capture them in writing, for my legs that took me to the top (huffing and puffing), and for my eyes that see and my ears that hear.

Only one thing seemed out of place about the experience: I didn’t see evidence of a single badger.

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