Nature Walk – 1
On a warm rainy day at the beginning of October I decided to go on a nature walk at my local forest preserve. I've been there quite a few times yet never by myself. It was the first time since August that I've been near nature. It's what I loved most about the road trip and what I wished we spent more time entrenched in. I had been feeling stressed and anxious over the past few days for no particular single reason, just the matters of the everyday and possibilities of the future. Its highly probable that I have an anxiety or mood disorder. There's just something about being surrounded by towering trees and walking with in nature that makes me feel alive and calm, away from all other distractions of life. It comforts me.
It had been raining earlier on this particular day and I was worried I would have to cancel my nature walk, but around noon it seemed to clear up so I was determined to go. When I arrived there, it was evident by the yellow school buses and children having lunch under the shelter of the picnic pavilion that I had chose a good day to visit. I however didn't want to be bother by the screaming of playful children, plus I didn't want to be a creeper so figured I give them their space. I drove further in to another section of the forest to start my trek taking pictures as I go.
After walking on a familiar trail for a bit I stopped and sat on a stump under a small tree. I closed my eyes, focused on my breathing, and meditated. I relaxed my body, releasing the tension I held in my shoulders and stomach. I emptied my mind and listened to the birds, the crickets, and the soft rain. I breathed in the air thick with the scent of damp earth and wood. Each breath quelling the anxiety, fear, and sadness that plagues me from time to time. Waves of calm washed over me as I sat in this vibrancy, surrounded by that which was truly alive.
After sometime I opened my eyes and moving slowly, I stood once more on my path.
Continuing on the trail through a small tunnel of trees, I walked up a short hill stopping near the top where I knew there was a pit of sand and rock, sparsely covered with a variety of plants. Here I found a tuft of grass within this dry pool of sand. On this island I sat, and began to write.
- The spicy, sweet scent of moist earth on a clouded day
- The humming and chirping of insects echoing all around like a mysterious lullaby
- I breathe the air thick, soft, and creamy, like warm milk filled with primal vitality
- I listen to the sounds of birds fluttering and cawing back and forth
- The trees dripping with gentle rain
- The sound of a wood pecker, not too far away
- White and yellow flowers dotting the land
- Stalks with leaves and grass and little prickly things reaching ever upwards
- The sun looming just beyond the clouds
- A gentle warm light
- A cool breeze
- Clouds cloaked in periwinkle swirl and dance and move without passing
- The distant roar of an air plane beyond, the sound like a whisper of the fast-paced modern world of endless obligations
- The earth's vibrant tranquility, energized
- Grass, sand, and soil
- Rocks, trees, and wind
- I breathe and relax
- I write and move on
Returning to the world of responsibilities, I took the long way back to my car enjoying the scenery. I drove back to the previous section of the park. As I drove past the large hill that's used for sledding in the winter months I see a a young man playing with his dog, an elderly gentleman walking at a steady pace, and children filing behind adults ready to embark on their yellow buses back to school. Here I parked and set of once more into the woods. I took the old paths, the ones less traveled, and at times strayed from it. I explored, climbing over and under, past tree limbs and on river banks, through open aired meadows, and leaf strewn dirt, until I found my way back to the trail once more. As I was finishing my walk on the trail, a dog came bounding towards me barking excitedly. It's owner warned me of her slobber as i stood there arm out stretched in greetings to this furry friend. Two wanderers passing by. We exchanged idle words and continued our separate ways. From there I sought out my car and left the preserve, moving forward on the road home.
Fun fact: Petrichor is a term used to describe the scent of rain in the air. This smell originates from oils that are released by the earth before it starts to rain. I find this fascinating because it's like the earth's version of an umbrella or rain coat, shielding and dispersing water droplets.
Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this little walk in the woods with me. I'll probably do another one of these sometime in the spring, or maybe even during winter. We shall see.
Until then, be wanderous and filled with wonder,