We went for a meditative walk in the forest, one slow step at a time, no talking, a space between each person of at least 30 feet. Instructions were to not step on rocks (no twisted ankles!) and not on tree roots. It was a walk like no other, an opportunity to sink into the deep silence of the woods, to be there and nowhere else. The future and the past all fell away as I slowly walked along, feeling a connection to the other walkers but free from the need to engage in conversation.
Suddenly two women and a barking dog appeared beside me – covered in sweat from their run. They asked me to keep an eye out for their purple cell phone that they had lost. Immediately my deep calm was gone as I tried to be helpful, looking on both sides of the trail for a purple cell phone instead of being focused on the forest greens. I thought I should be jogging instead of walking. And then I laughed at myself, as I became aware of how easily I had lost my focus, my calm. And I walked on, one small step at a time, sinking back into a lovely sense of peace.
Photo Englishman River ©2018 Janice Henshaw
“And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul”
― John Muir
(“Father of the National Parks”, John Muir was an influential Scottish-American naturalist, author, environmental philosopher, glaciologist, and early advocate for the preservation of wilderness in the United States. Wikipedia)