I was up too late last night. Don’t judge me, but I was reading a really compelling fan fic on my phone. Just like any good story, I couldn’t put it down. On top of that, my daughter is getting over a cold. She coughs a lot which makes me toss and turn. When I finally woke up, my eyes were irritated. For some reason, it impacted my overall mood this morning. I felt a bit grouchy. It’s times like that when the forest’s call grows loud and insistent.
Donning my winter coat, scarf, gloves, crane bag, and walking stick, I got out of the house, away from the screens, the messes waiting to be cleaned, and everything that annoyingly reminds me that I’m renting and not owning right now. The sun is out, but the air is bitter cold. The neighborhood was quiet since most people don’t want to be out on such a day. I felt assured of solitude.
The universe said, “nope.”
I crossed the hedge, carefully stepping on exposed logs and rocks to avoid the icy sheen of a frozen puddle. I always ask permission to enter, and felt the familiar pull. I was a bit apprehensive to return, honestly. Last week, my husband and I believe we found bear droppings. I took an omen before I went out today and was basically told to have courage because I needed this excursion.
The forest near my apartment is accessible to anyone who lives in my neighborhood. I’m grateful for the opportunity to take nature walks whenever I want, but sharing it with other people (people who don’t all respect the woods) is irritating. There is a never-ending supply of trash to clean. I take it upon myself to bring a small bag with me when I visit. I collect what I can as an offering.
After making some other offerings at a large tree, I leaned against its trunk to breathe. The relaxation was short lived, unfortunately. Some kids noisily entered the woods and set about smashing things into trees. Ugh. I surprised them by stepping out from behind the tree and went deeper into the woods.
Their shock made me grin. I was grateful they left me to my wandering.
No signs of bear this time. Noisy kids aside, it was nice to return to the forest. It’s a bit like a moving meditation. I definitely don’t sit and meditate here. You never know who may show up, after all. I try not to let my guard down, especially when there’s possibly a bear around (not to mention coyotes and coydogs). A snap of twigs in the distance gets the blood pumping and makes me feel so alive…
Closer to home, I inspected the garden. Most of the pots are frozen. The compost bin is unworkable at the moment. And yet, despite how bitter cold everything is today, the chives are pushing their way towards the sky. What hardy little plants. They always promise me that spring is near. They appear even before the trout lilies in the woods. Seeing them made me so happy and reminded me that it’s time to order seeds.
Gods, I can’t wait to garden again…