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…remembering how to breathe…

April 30, 2017

_DSC9079We walked the back ridge today. The dog and I.

Led by childhood memories, following deer trails this way and that.

Yellow tree buds carpet the undergrowth, blooming from knee-high softwoods that live in the canopy’s summer shadows.

_DSC9102When I stop to ponder, it can get hard to breathe. It comes over you like a wave of ecstasy. Like 3 shots of MDMA, and awaking up in 100,000 acres of forest! With spring in the air, and a new moon on the horizon.

Two weeks ago I was taking pictures of new snow under a full moon.

_DSC9146Two times since we moved home I have got myself turned around in this forest. Getting tripped up not by what the forest is, but by walking as I remembered this forest to be.

Twice I followed the high back ridge that leads one into the forest interior, thinking I was on the front ridge which merely skirts the forest’s edge. Twice I had to stop and align myself in unknown forests, find our way out of the labyrinth before it was too late.

Today I am out here as an adult, as someone who has been away for 25  years. Wanting to see again, as if for the first time. Part cartographer, part trail sniffer, the dog and I are out and about in this great forest, reacquainting ourselves like long lost friends.

_DSC9200Finding familiar markers, cleaning up old trails, the dog joyfully treeing chipmunks and squirrels as we go.

For the day I am Lao Tzu, Thoreau, Bronte, Edna St. Vincent Millay.

But trees are trees, an alm or oak
Already both outside and in,
And cannot, therefore, counsel folk
Who have their unity to win.

Turn all tree-signals into speech,
And what comes out is a command:
‘Keep running if you want to reach
The point of knowing where you stand.’

                                                          excerpt: Reflections on a Forest, Auden

_DSC9151Science now confirms what we already knew, that walking in a forest is good for your health. To which my mom would reply, “I could have told you that for the price of a lunch.”

Songbirds flutter along the naked canopy. Peepers deafen down by the edge of the swamp. Everything twitterpated. Everything is alive! The world is magic.


And I walk through this magic as if in a dream.


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