Back in the Woods

This morning I entered the woods for a hike. Today’s trail is in a different location than the usual state park I hike. Today’s state park isn’t as big and the trail of wasn’t as strenuousbut I still left the woods with the same sense of calm I always do.
I gain something new every time I enter the woods. Sometimes it’s mental. Sometimes it’s physical. Sometimes it’s about nature. Sometimes it’s a cleansing. With each hike I go on my interest and appreciation for nature and the outdoors grows stronger and deeper. I wasn’t raised in a family that enjoyed being outdoors and I accept that. I can only be grateful that finally in my mid 40’s a synchronicity of events has led me into the woods and I can now focus on creating a lifestyle that is conducive to this. Rome wasn’t built in a day and I know that my new found interest only requires nurturing and my spare time. The woods are always there waiting for me.
I enjoy the physical challenge of hiking up an incline and feeling the sweat roll in, my heart beating faster, my gluteus muscles burning and my stiff knees cooperating with each step. Hiking is just as mental as it is physical. When I’m in the woods I often gain clarity on current situations of my life. One of my favorite things while hiking is to imagine pitching a tent, building a fire, cooking on that fire and spending the night in the woods. I’d read, I’d write, I’d reflect and as Depoche Mode says I’d, “Enjoy the Silence”. I’ve never been camping before. I’ve always enjoyed listening to my husband tell me stories of his childhood camping trips with his parents and sister. It’s something we never got around to when our kids were younger. I worked outrageous hours and even though camping was always in the back of my mind it wasn’t on my must do radar yet. It is now. 
The trail this morning displayed a bounty of pine, birch, maple, oak, and hemlock trees. It’s a circular trail that leads hikers to three different waterfalls. I inhaled the smell of the falling water and observed the beauty of each waterfall I encountered. I also had a strong urge to strip off my clothes and enter the waterfall as naked as I was the day I was born to just sit there and let the water fall on me. I couldn’t do that though. It was mid morning and there were other hikers on the trail, including my two teenagers. My teenagers would end up traumatized for life and I’d get arrested for public nudity. 
What I did do was take off my hiking boots and socks to dip my feet into the cool water. A few years ago I watched some Carol Tuttle videos on clearing chakras and learned how to clear each one. I remembered that one way to clear the root chakra was to rub your bare feet on the earth. I did that. I’m grounded now. 

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