“Outdoors is the place to store up spiritual influences. However aimless our walks appear to be, always some particular object consciously or unconsciously guides our steps, while we are alert and wide awake to find what Nature has in store for us.”-John Muir
It was fitting that we spent this last day of 2019 hiking in the woods by a creek, enjoying the sunshine, birds, and quiet. We began the year the same way – in the woods, hiking. These bookend adventures are meaningful. They show that, even though we’ve had a difficult year, we are still here, still active, still connected to the natural world that supports us, and still value the simple pleasure of walking hand-in-hand through the places that lift our spirits.
The forest and trees, sunshine, birds, squirrels, bugs, and other creatures will always be my first and best medicine – the force that keeps me sane and happy, healthy and whole. I’m grateful for all the public lands that invite us in, to commune, to recharge, to inspire, and to appreciate the wildness that is all around us.
During the past few months I’ve done most of my writing with pen and journal, in private, capturing the details and emotions of my mother’s journey from this life. I doubt any of those words will ever find their way here, but they’ve been important words to write. A reminder that nothing is permanent and that is okay. Through these months, it was walks in the woods, by the streams, on the land, with the animals that guided my steps, gave me courage, and soothed my soul.
As I say goodbye to 2019, I am grateful for all the natural wonders that have influenced me. I’m grateful for the experiences that have taught me the lessons of acceptance, kindness, compassion, and impermanence. I’m also more grateful than ever for the gifts of love and friendship from special family members and friends who warmed my heart and gave me strength. Thank you.
Happy New Year everyone!