June 16, 2017

Wind Runner to Woods Walker

As a child I would take my shoes and socks off and run the perimeter of a local school yard over and over, fast. Never was there a fear of stepping on glass or other junk - I loved running or doing anything outdoors. The early morning dew felt decadent between my bare toes while I imagined I was my favorite Disney character running fast and free, or perhaps an Indian with my feather flying back due to my speed. When I ran, there were no cares, and allowed my tomboy self to have imagination moments.

Today, I love nothing more than to be in the woods with my husband and/or children. Age has robbed my ability to run, but after a rather difficult adjustment period, discovered that walking and the smell of fresh ground speaks deliciously to my soul.

Yesterday was a day from my youth. My husband and I visited a wonderful, hilly, and thick woods near Howell, Michigan, near where our youngest daughter and her friend were competing in an orienteering venture deep in the "forest". The crunch of this long autumn under our feet was lucious, palatable, seeming to create a vibration which spoke directly to my heart. The hills were insane, covered in leaves, rocks and fallen limbs. Climbing up the first time, we were huffing and puffing but trying to talk normal as if in competition and to ignore that we have aged a wee bit. Little critter and bird noises were all we heard, along with, of course, our feet crunching, shuffling and breathing. Next hill and next hill, until we reached the top. A sense of accomplishment, almost a peak experience, only to turn around and look at the steep downhill slope. The hill was so slippery with dried leaves and presented with an abrupt decline. To proceed safely, we needed to take tiny steps, stick our butts out, and claim only the attention of the ground, lest we tumble down.

It was exhilarating - we reached the bottom, wandered around a bit and decided to climb again. Funny, the second time up, our breathing was normalized as our legs, lungs and heart were prepared for the engagement with the hill. Reaching the top felt wonderful - we were proud of our physical abilities and ready to de-climb easily and confidently. What a perfect day of imagination moments.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you had a beautiful day in the woods.


The Hardwood Walking Stick

All through my 30s onward, I’ve walked woods from the Appalachian and Smoky Mountains, along with the mountains, hills and valleys of Michig...