One concrete block aligned to the next and the next, each step taken
slapping hard with echoes, the grunts of strangers bouncing against me
in an unnatural way. Grey energy sticking on my clothes, smudging in deeper,
my emptiness reflected on the faces of passers-by.
An escape seems justified, so the planning begins. It’s a want and a need,
a timely effort when the world begins to close in. Taking care of my essence
keeps my head in the game in the race of the plastic, the commercial, and the material world.
It’s beyond time to reclaim some sanity, punching out now.
Every remembered hue in the musty yellow, brown, and green of the woods
beckons me with its message of calm, reminding me of blanketing comfort
in every step taken deep into the center of her being. I can already hear
Mother Nature celebrating my return.
My arrival at the entrance to my freedom has the wind layering around me with the softest of invisible hands. I lean in with a heavy sigh, forcing out the dust and mange of the city streets. Breathing slowly, feeling the pulse return to normal as peace filters in between all the cells in my body.
I focus my eyes on the crispness of leaves underfoot as I step deeper into the heart of Mother. The beams of sunlight entering through the swaying canopies of the treetops redirect my attention, eminent trails of rays capturing every bit of forest dust in its stream, emulating the rings of Saturn on a smaller scale.
My preening tender ears usher in the rich sounds of nature – whistles of the wind, harmonies of feathered friends, and the high-pitched sounds of clicks, buzzing, rasping – all steadily burrowing the rhythm of nature into the grey matter of my brain.
Its steady pulse of harmony makes me richer for having heard her sounds.
Stealthily, my feet burrow into the soft mud, a reminder of a youthful past
and carefree days, with an intense urge to push in deeper. Home was offering
its hello, a brown wetness oozing firm yet squishy brown missiles of clay up in
between my white toes. Small twigs prick the little piggies sinking in, becoming one.
I solemnly brush my hand on the moistness of the green moss covering
the holy tree. My fingers etch along the cracks with thankfulness for its gift
of renewal even as the crackle of old limbs signal a forthcoming demise.
I wonder if Mother Nature mourns the losses as she makes me come alive.
This oft-visited place of tranquility, a site of refuge and healing is where joy
comes back. I dare not disturb, ruffle or destroy what only offers peace. I’ve imbibed necessarily and deliriously in the majestic feel of these woods, experienced my internal essence revived with the esoteric fuel of nature. She spoke and I listened.