July 7, 2014

It is a pleasant day, so I head over to the nearby nature trails. I look over at the beginning of the trails and see that there are several to choose from. Slowly, I walk by them and 'feel' each, asking "which would be the best for me today?" When I feel one of the paths offered is more 'right' than the others, I head down it into the wooded area.

As I walk along the path, the place where I entered the woods gets farther and farther away. As it does, the sounds from the road, and suburban areas gets quieter and quieter, until they finally disappear. Eventually, I am surrounded by silence. I walk further letting the silence envelopment me. As it does, I allow myself to notice what is around me now that there are no distractions.

I see the trees and the bushes growing along the path, each reaching for their little piece of sunlight. I notice the flowers on some of the bushes along the way. With each thing I notice, I notice more. I see the insects moving through the plants, the bees investigating the flowers, each going about its normal routine. I hear water moving somewhere, and birds singing.

I continue down moving from shadow to sunlight and back to shadow as there are open spots where I can actually see sky, each step making a soft sound. There is a slight breeze I feel on my skin which also rustles the leaves in the trees causing a pleasant sound. As I look further in, I can see birds flying from one branch to another, calling out to other birds.

There is a rock formation up on the left surrounded by some flowering plants. Fluttering around these bushes are several butterflies, stopping at one flower, then another. With each stop, they open their wings slowly so I can see their pretty markings. Then as they finish, they move off to another.

The path starts a little incline going down to the source of the water sounds. I find a bridge over a small stream that is gently flowing by. I slowly walk onto the bridge and stop at the center, looking down into the water which is cascading over some rocks giving it that lovely sound.

As I peer into the stream, I see small fish moving here and there. Down a little ways is a turtle or two watching me as I watch them. Slowly as to not disturb them, I walk over to the other side of the bridge where I see some medium sized birds drinking from the stream. They stop for a second to look at me, and then continue what they were doing.

I do the same thing. I continue my journey down the path which starts angling upward as I move from the stream. The walk is a bit steep, and my leg muscles notice it as I climb to get back to an even plane. The stress lessens as the path levels out. Up ahead I notice some squirrels chasing each other from tree to tree, their tails twitching each time they stop.

I continue on enjoying the peacefulness, each step bringing me loads of solitude. My breaths come easily. The sounds of nature surrounding me, becoming one with me. Although I am the outsider here, I feel as much a part of nature as any of the creatures I have seen. The feeling is just magical.

Eventually, the sounds of the woods start to fade, to be replaced by more man-made sounds. And as I keep walking, I see the end of the path up ahead. I stop for one second and close my eyes. I take one deep breath and hold it for a moment before letting it go. I am calm. I am at peace. And this is what I take with me as I re-enter the world.