In the woods alone, I am at perfect peace. Winter is my favorite time to walk a certain path of a certain trail because I have moments just to myself. It’s a popular spot when the weather is fair, but when the temperatures drop, travelers are few.
Ice forces a measured pace and a constant attentiveness to my feet. My body is tight and growing cold, but reprieve soon comes on unpaved ground. My eyes are then drawn up to the wonder around me.
I trek on, being sure to look back from where I’ve come, noting the journey it took to get me here.
When I reach the top I pause, both to catch my breath and lose it again. Despite the cold I take a seat to take in my surroundings. In the distance I hear the lake as I watch the ice on the waves. Nearby I listen and hear the trees creak as if just for me.
On my way back through, I take time to notice things that were just on the way before. Details placed this way only in this moment, swayed by the wind the next. I am in this moment in time just as the branches are. When I visit again things will have changed; the trees, the ground, and me.
Winter has been rough. Not in the I-live-in-Michigan-and-it’s-cold-and-snowy rough, though I could regale you with those tales. It’s been rough because it is overwhelmingly grey. The moments captured and described above were my first and only time really venturing out this season.
This was necessary for my soul. I hope you find what brings you life if it is a dark season, and that you can find a place where the trees creak just for you.