I'm fortunate to live in the country with woods behind my house. I've walked through them so often that I've formed a path with my footsteps.
I find I'm walking in the forest much more than usual these days. In fact, I need it. I need the grounding that it offers.
Do you find you are walking more slowly, noticing more? I used to walk through these woods, thinking about my problems or my work or things I needed to do, often with my head down, focused mainly on the path. There were times I barely looked up. Now, in this time of isolation and anxiety in the world, I'm moving much more slowly, letting the beauty of the forest unfold each day. Staying present. I'm harvesting a few wild leeks, watching the way the sunlight weaves through the trees and lands softly on the moss-covered rocks, noticing the Trilliums as they keep themselves tightly wrapped in their green blanket, waiting until they are certain of warm weather to open up. It's calming here. Healing. In fact I've been known to hug some of these trees.
And now, the Trilliums are blooming.
ME: Why am I alive?
OLD WOMAN: Because everything else is.
ME: No. I mean the purpose.
OLD WOMAN: That is the purpose. To learn about your relatives.
ME: My family?
OLD WOMAN: Yes. The moon, stars, rocks, trees, plants, water, insects, birds, mammals. Your whole family. Learn about that relationship. How you're moving through time and space together. That's why you're alive.
From the book: Embers by Richard Wagamese