Strength and beauty has existed in these woods longer than anyone could possibly remember, and it will live on long after we are gone. A story that has no true beginning or end, a story that is forever evolving, thankfully.
And then there was me. As I sat here quietly I realized the stories these woods shared are mine as well. We are both evolving over time, in some seasons we grow stronger, in others we are vulnerable. We both carry on and are disciplined yet remain patient and gentle. We trust when it is time to rise up and be a little fierce, and are intimately aware of the need to slow down and be still. We both feel at home, right here under this wide open sky and blazing warm sun.
Sometimes the human existence of life is a challenge for me to move through. The man-made world has always left me with more questions than answers which can create a lot of unwelcome mental clutter. But out here, I have no questions. Out here everything is in order and life seems crystal clear. Out here I don't feel awkward or different. Out here the only calendar that exits can be felt by the temperature on my skin or the strength of the sun overhead. Out here the rise and fall of each breath seems so obvious yet so profound.
As my hike came to an end, my stride breaking into a light jog down the trail as my watch told me I needed to hustle to get to the car so I would arrive to work on time... I felt so grateful for taking this time, this morning of solitude, out here, in these woods.