The wind whips and whistles through the swaying lodgepole pine trees scattered along the rugged landscape, coals still smolder red in the fire pit ready for another log, ash scatters and sparks fly. Rich coffee pulled from the saddle pack perks up my weary senses, giving a warmth to my body and mind before the first sip touches my lips. Hands stained by tart raspberries collected meticulously out of the wild unruly brambles that grow along the fresh cool spring. The earthy bright scent lingers in the cool Pacific Northwest air. Fresh elk backstrap pounded and ready to grill, my mouth waters in anticipation as the Szechwan peppercorns crack and scatter over the meat. I look about for the sack of matsutake foraged in the early morning mist, their spicy aromatic odor tingling my nose as I open the bag and set about achieving the meal I have labored toward since my eyes squinted open at the break of day.
The cool refreshing water sparkles in the blue and gold flecked tile fountain, thousands of coins gleaming for the spent wishes of childhood dreams. Sitting contemplating the day, he bites down on the pale green pear his wife so lovingly packed, juice sliding slowly down his whiskered chin. Remembering long lost youthful fantasies of traveling beyond the village that had shaped him into the man he was today. He scoops up the cloth satchel and heads for his humble home, carrying the honey, cheese and roasted almonds he had promised at the beginning of his day.