The Trail.

3 12 2010

Milkweed husks along the trail

We’ve had snow this year. A couple of times it’s come down and stayed for a bit – well a few hours, a day and a half maybe. But today, I think it’s here to stay for the season.

When I went for my walk today it involved layers of clothes and my funny Cannuck hat with the rabbit fur and the ear flaps. I wore heavier boots and of course my light winter coat (I’ll keep the heavy coat in reserve for when the temps drop below 0°F). Once I clipped my big mitts to my belt and slung my canvas camera bag over my shoulder I looked like I was ready for the trap line. I did leave the snowshoes at home (but I do have a pair of them, eh!). Warm summer days are a kind of warm we can all appreciate, but the warmth of being well dressed on a cold day is a special feeling.

The stream by the trail ...

The trail I walk is peaceful for the most part. Covered in by trees in some places and followed by a small stream part of the way. It feels close and friendly. When the sky is grey like today and the snow comes down so soft and thick you can hardly see a hundred yards it feels even closer.

I get a feeling of calmness in these conditions. I’ve alluded to this before. Something about the grey surroundings and no pressing obligations leaves me feeling at peace. A stark contrast to my ADHD filled days.

But, when I’m out on the trail, does my mind stop whirling around with ideas? No. Do I get distracted while walking? Yes. Do I think of things to write about and then forget them? YES. Is there any difference in the way my mind works out there and the way it works back here at my desk? NO!

The trail, the stream, the trees and the snow. Tranquility!

So why is it so relaxing? Because, despite all the similarities, on the trail there is no guilt if my mind wanders. If I forget something I wanted to write then I let it go, wasn’t meant to be. There is no anxiety from being behind on anything, no stress or worry about blurting out inappropriate things and then having to talk fast to do damage control.

We can’t live on the trail, unfortunately. We can’t go through life walking alone through scenery, leaving no mark, changing little, accomplishing less. We need to be in this world. We need to be of this world. We need society to belong. There is no life without participation.

But when we get to the end of our all to small allotment of control,

Cool weather gear, boots, mitts, Cannuck hat with ear flaps, coat and water bottle.

when we’ve had enough, when the world seems like it’s out to convince us that we don’t, can’t now, and will never fit in – there is still the boots. There is the coat and the funny hat. There is still the trail. Thank heaven.


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