You were in this land too, weren’t You? Under a different name, a different guise, but You were here all along. Instead of arid desert sands You stalked temperate forest floors; instead of standing at the banks of the great river You stood on the shore of the great ocean. You were known to the people of cedar and salmon just as You were known to the people of temples and pyramids. To them You were the ghost in the fog, silent predator with eyes of amber and haunting scream that echoed through the mountains. Did they dance for You around sacred fires? Did they summon You in rites of life and death? Or were You too much a mystery, a flash of firelit eyes or fleeting shadow, a creature to be feared and respected? When I seek that place of peace inside me I see You sitting before me in this form, fur tawny gold and eyes ancient and wise. Mountain lion, puma, cougar, You have as many names in this land as epithets in the land of Your worship. To see You in this form, to know You in this place… it honors and humbles me greatly.

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