I remember a woman I met a long time ago who went hiking with me in California. She was a native of those mountains, having climbed those heights often in childhood.
Me, a city person, unused to those heights, kept lagging behind.
Every few steps she stopped for me, turned back, sometimes climbed down. Often, she would stop by the wayside to show me a berry, telling me which ones were edible and which ones could kill. I trusted her judgement instinctively, tasting a huckleberry for the first time or smelling a sage leaf. Continue reading Peripheral friends