In a forest deep I came upon an old man playing on his flute.
He nodded welcome as he blew his melody and I sat upon a well-worn stump across from where he sat atop his own.
Quietly, I sat back and watched him as his knobby fingers moved deftly over the delicately carved flute; intricate designs covered its wood surface and the tune that flowed out of its hand-bored holes had a mysterious air about it.
As I watched and listened, my thoughts wandered through the trees that stood around the opening where we sat. The leaves of the branches rustled with the soft breeze that blew through them.
In my mind’s eye the late afternoon sky became the dark blue of evening with the red glow of the setting sun illuminating it from below and the milky moon from above.
The simple notes of the old man’s song became full and sinuous as they wrapped around the trees to bring them in closer and closer, until the surrounded me an all sides.
I could feel them breathing together with each other, and I began to breathe with them; I felt I was a part of the forest and it apart of me.
I closed my eyes to listen to our breathing as the flute’s melody filled my senses.
The song began to die down from filling everything, to just its first simple notes and I opened my eyes to find I was sitting back in the clearing the woods, the bright sun still lighting the azure blue sky. Nothing had changed and no time had passed.
I looked to the old man and he had become a bear, sitting just as he had been, playing his flute delicately with his furring brown paws.
“Oh, you’re a bear.” I said.
“Yes.” he replied, “And you are too.”
And so I was.