I hiked at Lake Hope yesterday morning before running some errands. It was about 61 degrees and sunny, perfect for a quick hike.
My eye is normally drawn up toward the birds and little creatures in the trees and the sky above. Yesterday was different as my attention was focused almost entirely on the ground.
I was especially taken with all sorts of mushrooms. I know nothing about them but appreciate the various shapes and colors and the character they contribute to the forest floor.
More than that, I was taken with the feel of dirt and pine needles beneath my feet. I noticed more how solid the earth felt and appreciated the contours of tree roots and stones in a way I never have before.
This one resembles a seashell.
Check out the black with the crazy texture!
And the moss!!
Life has been busier than normal for the last couple of months and this week has been ridiculous. I have had zero free time since coming home from vacation. Standing in the forest, taking deep breaths, and feeling the wind on my cheek made me feel alive. It made me want to stand there a while longer.
I only hiked a few miles but it felt like such a treat to find myself in a place where the only manmade noise was a small plane overhead and where my phone did not work.
At one point, I came down from a small ridge into a little cove where golden leaves were falling from the trees. They swirled in a light breeze before gently wafting to the ground. It was a near magical moment in the dappled morning light and the silence of the forest.
Everyone should have such an experience.
Do yourself a favor and go walk outdoors. Get off the sidewalk and walk through dirt and leaves and feel the connection to the earth that humans were meant to have. Look for the small things – tiny flowers, mushrooms and insects. Close your eyes and feel the sun on your face. Breathe deeply and enjoy your life.
Tomorrow we will continue our tour of Washington D.C.