So there’s this trail in the woods in my hometown – Buck’s Hill we call it. One minute you’re walking on the street and the next you’ve been completely swallowed by trees, momentarily in a whole new space, completely detached from the surrounding neighborhood. It is my secret escape, my solo escapade since my high school years.
These woods know my secrets. They’ve seen me through it all. I’ve walked with my dogs, with friends, those that I love. I’ve shared conversations; I’ve had quite a few with myself. But it is the solitude I find on my own that keeps bringing me back whenever I’m back east with the same sense of astounded wonder.
I’ve seen it through the seasons. Humid, sticky summers. Bare, bone-chilling winters. And now inklings of warmer months have begun to transform this space that I consider to be so sacred. Vibrant greens have begun to bloom. Speckles of green are popping up beneath the arid dirt. New life has sprouted like magic, restoring the vivacity. And the barren, numb ambiance from this past winter’s epic tundra conditions has been replaced by an effervescent energy – a refreshing feeling of newness.
I used to run through these trees, jumping over branches, climbing the rocks as fast as I could. But ever since my hip injury, my pace has been diminished to a brisk walk. And while this was formerly regarded by my inner self as an infuriating curse, it has since become a blessing in disguise as I’ve been forced to “stop and smell the roses” so to speak… truly breathe in all the fresh air, bask in the solitude and harness the power of getting outside, which I’m fortunate enough to experience regularly. It’s like I’m finally seeing these woods clearly for the first time, marveling in its magnitude and splendor that drew me to this spot in the first place.
Here’s to slowing down (even if it’s by force that we decelerate). Oh, and appreciating the planet and the wondrous cycles of life we can often take for granted or fail to notice. Here’s to recognizing some miraculous enchantment in our everyday life.
“Nature doesn’t hurry yet everything is accomplished.”