By Bobbie Glasheen

I was asked to write an ethical will to leave with my descendants; to record the values that are important to me.

Doggone ponderous topic. If one plans to live forever, what matters an “ethical will” or any other will and testament, come to think of it.

The forest is moist and breathes an exhilarating perfume. The rocky peaks lean over my home like the sovereign teeth of some giant beast. My mind leaps and tumbles and my poor exhausted muse is struggling to keep up.

A Steller’s jay the size of a flying elephant swoops down to the railing. He draws close and scolds me vigorously.

“Woman, the eats! The morning is late, bring forth the eats.”

“In your funny little ear,” I reply. “Go hunt down a puma if you’re so darn hungry.”

I turn back to my journal. Talking to the birds will not help me to get anything down on paper.

Who, in his or her right mind, would want my values, my ethics anyway? Those who come later will form their own codes of conduct and integrity. My values came from my parents, husband, church and maybe even General Dwight Eisenhower. It was often no bargain, believe me.

Only as I grow really long in the tooth have I finally formulated something of my very own. Leaving behind admonitions, charges and missions laid before me on Earth, I have taken wing and travel with the whispered word of instruction from my own experience.

My moral and emotional stature have been rebuilt from the the dust of the journey and my own enlivened mind. My book, full of maps and detours, is useful only to

me, and I do not want it visited on someone who comes after. They couldn’t read it anyway. Mapquest, take a hike.

My life is so rich and so entertaining. The birds assume astronomical proportions. You noticed? Squirrels speak English, or I speak Squirrel. Rocks hum and trees waltz and sing. A Schubert Quintet quick steps through the house, sending me reeling into bliss.

Who cares what I think about honesty, etc. etc. The Earth is Bobbie’s ... and theirs ... and the fullness thereof.