I felt a need to spend time in the woods today. I knew it would be time well spent as soon as I pulled up and saw a small round bird fluttering in and out of the pine tree at the trailhead. I was immediately glad that I listened to that feeling.
I eventually settled in at one of my favorite spots and rested for a bit with my back against a giant white oak tree. I became still. I watched and I listened.
I was rewarded with bird calls, a heron swooping by, and a squirrel who became quite curious about me.
What I didn't expect was the long soft sigh that escaped my mouth after a while.It immediately felt like a layer of surface tension that I didn't even know was there dissolved. And I thought, wow, just how many layers of tension am I holding under this one?
I eventually shifted my sit spot to the edge of the pond. After being still for a bit, my friend the squirrel showed up and stared at me for a while from a safe distance a few trees away. As I turned from him, a blue heron swooped in and landed like a skater sticking a tricky landing on a thin patch of ice near a tiny island of trees at the center of the lake. He stayed for a bit, as well as his friend who landed across the pond, only to take off again with a gentle swoosh of his wings.
What I thought had been ten minutes at the edge of the lake was more like thirty minutes. I had become immersed in just being present, witnessing, and the contentment that comes along with it. The smile never left my face as I walked back to the parking lot and drove home. I'm smiling as I write this and remembering my time outdoors today.
May you find time outdoors that fills your heart as well.
I invite you to bundle up (key part of a happy experience if it's cold) and head outside to a place that calls to you. Spend some time there being still (hence the need to bundle up). Listen. Watch. Feel the energy of the animals and living plants around you. Allow them to get used to your presence and resume their activities. Maybe take a breath into your heart center and expand this area to share the energy of openness and to receive it as well.