Observations During a Walk in The forest

I raise the lukewarm cup of coffée to my lips, staring out the window as the light-brown fluid makes its way through my tired body. This particular blend, concentrated black coffée mixed with milk and three scoops of sugar, usually does the trick, but not today. The comfortable blue couch, coupled with the peaceful piano music emitted by the speaker, threatens to lull me into another bout of slumber.

To my left, by the kitchen island, I see my mother digging her knife into a fresh loaf of bread. Each slice is followed by a crunch as the fibers and seeds split. My mouth waters, and before I am consciously aware of the fact, I walk toward the aisle. However, right then, the sun decides to grace me with her presence. She covers the right side of my face with her warm, gentle touch. I smile in appreciation — for she has saved me from breaking fast and wasting time. Now I know what to do.

I enter the hallway to don my most robust pair of shoes, suited as they are for exploration. The light streaming in through the window radiate warmth where they meet flesh, influencing my choice of outdoor wear. Eventually, I go with a thin, comfortable spring jacket. Then, with a firm grip, I take hold of the door handle. The door opens with a creak (they really should oil the hinges), and before stepping outside, I turn to my mother. “I’ll be back in an hour or so.” She shoots me a questioning glare, and I respond with a wink before slamming the door shut behind me.

I walk down the cobblestone road, energized by the prospect of adventure. Soon, however, crisp air spills across my face. I consider turning back to clothe myself more appropriately, but ultimately I decide against it. My body should soon provide ample heat.

I notice that I have arrived at the local school, where the schoolyard is bustling with noisy children. Screaming, laughing, crying, all at once in an unfiltered cacophony of sounds that I have come to associate with youth. “Hello there,” says a brown-haired boy by the fence, grinning at me through an incomplete row of teeth. While returning his smile, I recall when that was me, curious to a fault. If a man stepped out from a van to offer candy, I would’ve accepted. Still, it’s not all bad. The child before me is seeing strangers and identifying potential for friendship. Many of us adults could learn from that.

Right past the school is the local church. And I am, as always, impressed by its antique beauty. Iconic to these parts, the church is white (borderline gray) and has a small cross atop its spire. While I am not religious, I enjoy viewing and visiting churches, for they are spectacular hallmarks of history and architecture.

In turning to the right after the church, I get my first glimpse of the green lusciousness of the forest. And, after walking for a few more minutes, I arrive at the entrance. As I pass through the arcs of trees, I feel nature’s embrace. Birds fluttering their little wings up in the tall trees, the smell of early blooming flowers, and the mesmerizing view of interlocking trees. Our sun is part of this nature’s melody as well, for her rays of daylight penetrate gaps in the arch above, illuminating patches of the forest floor.

The scene before me is why I came all the way out here. We are, despite humankind’s arrogance, part of nature. And, It is important to remember that; it is essential to remind ourselves that we are part of something larger than ourselves, rather than existing in an empty void. Walking along the uneven path, I slide my hand across the firm bark of a tree. 

We are all part of nature, and we will return to nature one day.

Perhaps the atoms that make up my body will gather into the trunk of a tree like this? or maybe, something entirely different. It stands to reason: we will never disappear, but rather, we will adapt, as we always have. Part of the same world, but in a way that differs from our current, conscious state.

Deep in thoughts, I come across an elderly couple, hand in hand. The woman nods in my direction, and somehow it feels like she understands the meaning of my distant gaze. I nod back to her, daring not to talk, as though that would disrupt the forest’s peace.

I let my feet carry me where they want; a journey without a destination. In our modern society, it feels as though people I meet on the street are prone to go somewhere. It’s never “just walking,” but always going to some predetermined destination. I understand this inclination, but I am a firm believer in free exploration; it is essential to allow sometimes curiosity to lead the way.

Soon, I come across a bench. And sporadically, I decide to sit down on it and meditate. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10. Says my inner voice as I count each breath. Thoughts come, pestering me to do this and that, but I allow them to slowly fade away. This very moment is all that matters.

After some time, I open my eyes to the world. It is the same as before, but different somehow. I see the world through a lens of stillness. Leaves are visible in detail. I notice the sway of trees and shadows on the ground.

This is it; I am ready now. I am ready to take on the day.

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