30 Days of Gratitude: Day 9

Some people need the rhythm and vastness of the sea, some the crisp grandeur of the mountains.  I’m more of a Red Riding Hood.  Give me a deer trail through a stand of old elm and boxelder trees, and I can be content for days.  Years ago, my friend Steven, a naturalist with shamanic leanings, taught me how to walk in the woods.  Go slow.  Look down.  Look up.  Listen.  I’ve found porcupine nests high up in the trees, bear claw marks on saplings, scat from fox, deer and rabbits, wild strawberries and tiny wildflowers.  I’ve found brooks by listening, adjusting my trajectory, listening again.  I’ve sat quietly and watched unfamiliar birds, sometimes sketching them in my notebook.  I’ve peered into the artistry of deadfall carved by termites.

I enter the woods like I’d enter a stranger’s house—respectfully, mindful not to break any pretties or leave a mess, always offering thanks for the gift I take home.  And there’s always a gift, whether it’s in my pocket or in my heart.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Kathryn McCullough
    Jul 10, 2011 @ 17:25:24

    This is really lovely, Sandy. I too love the woods, but you describe your experience so beautifully, I too am thankful for your visit there! Again, great series, my friend! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!


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