I had intended on walking and writing deep in the woods near home this week as the wildflowers are blooming and beautiful in their forested beds. But sometimes a busy life get in the way. Yesterday I had several chores to do and commitments to honor. So, I needed to go to town. The town is Kalkaska, Michigan. It certainly isn’t a big city, just a typical Northern Michigan town with some boarded up storefronts yet trying its best to be vital to its community. Part of this vitality comes in the form of some lovely garden beds and mosaics created by students in the public schools. These beds pepper the pathway that just happens to be part of the North Country Trail.
I am partial to wildflowers in the woods. Their simplicity, tenacity to survive, and subtle colors speak to me about the beauty in the everydayness of life. However, domesticated garden plots are also a treat to the eye. There is no comparison to their vibrant colors. Even when a tulip bloom is fading away, it is still a delight!
When I began this hike, I was in a foul mood. I felt overwhelmed by commitments, frustrated that the annual flower sale at our local supermarket didn’t open on time, discovered that our church’s printer was still broken and I needed to run copies for a charity event I was chairing, and just tired from springtime chores. How petty of me! With all the sorry and poverty in the world, with people in third-world countries struggling to eat one nutritious meal a day, with friends battling life-threatening illnesses . . . what in the world was I doing being grouchy over such petty issues?
While waiting for the local print shop to open, I suddenly thought “I know how to brighten my spirit: a Walk & Write in the woods.”
I didn’t have much time, but this day’s short two-mile hike and 5-minute notetaking on a fallen log was just what I needed to get my head in order. After rediscovering joy in the tended gardens, I then entered the natural trail into the woods. I was quickly reminded that Mother Nature’s children face adversities every single day and yet they go on soaking up the sun, drinking in water held lovingly by the soil, and bouncing back after being stepped upon by us humans. Even when other living things try and suck the morrow from their bones, nature bounces back.
Birds were singing to their lovers. Blossoms were filling my nose with an elixir that melted away all my silly woes. I even decided to eat a couple of blueberry buds to see if they tasted as good as they smelled. Nope. No flavor, but it made me smile anyway.
A walk in the woods. A walk in a city park. Best medicine. Ever.