I walked in the woods today, a kaleidoscope of colors. To track through the muddy trails I wore my hiking boots, my orange and grey yoga pants, and my blue rain jacket that was doubling as a windbreaker. I looked up into the branches of the bare trees above me listening to the calls of birds that I recognized but could not identify so I imagine to them to be cardinals, robins, finches, grackles and woodpeckers. I wondered when the hummingbirds would return.
I wonder about the possibility of getting lost in the forest and not being able to find my way back to my car. But I have to trust my instincts and stay by the water, that vast reflecting pool which mirrors my emotions, full of depth with the stillness and the richness of Life lying just below the surface. I wonder that perhaps walking through the forest in this way, not knowing exactly where this trail will end up, is comforting because it is my life….finding myself along the trail with multiple paths, knowing that no path is wrong. It's just that each path offers a different experience. Which one do I want?
I am this forest and I am these trails. I see trees that have been downed from wind and age, their stumps rising up like gravestones to mark their final resting place in this quiet sacred space. I imagine the possibility of dreaming and skydiving naked with a monkey on my back. I want to be free, naked and open and vulnerable. Totally exposed without shame. I want to be brave enough to share all of me and jump into my life with courage. But right now a part of my past and pieces of my future that are not yet defined, cling to my back like a crazed monkey. And still, I am ready to jump. All in. Completely naked. Freefalling, full of trust. Free.
I am this forest and this trail, the bark on the trees and the scent of spring waking up from winter. The leaves from the trees in autumn lie scattered across the ground through the woods and have become mashed into the mud of the trail like reminders of the past. They just lie there quietly in the forest the way the past dies but within its death there is vibrancy, beauty and fertilizer for new growth into our own personal spring.
I breathe in and I am one with this forest of trails and the possibility each one holds. I am one with the nature of things, the way I breathe in the air the trees breathe out, the way our breath intertwines inside my heart and lungs and courses through my veins. The trail through these trees becomes littered with exposed roots and there is moss growing on their northern sides. I feel littered with exposed roots and in my inability to make decisions I, too, am covered in moss on my northern side. It is as if the roots reveal the truth of my own roots exposed. There is a poetic beauty in being able to see these secret portions of naked trees, these long stretched-out fingers that go so deep into the soil to pull up everything the tree needs. Soon the trail slopes sharply downward and the exposed roots offer stability in the slick mud as I make my way down. They whisper their secrets of how to stand where the going is slippery and how to dig deep for that is what we must do to find our strength.
I am this forest. I am one with these trees, breathing in and breathing out, naked with their roots exposed, standing stoically with others who pretend not to see
Digging deep I find my strength to be exposed, vulnerable, free, and courageous enough to jump, naked with a monkey on my back.