The tall grasses were like turnstile after turnstile on my legs and shoulders. They bent to my body then sprang back into place as I passed though them.
This passage into the woods.
I hadn’t been here since the beginning of the summer when it becomes unpassable. The grasses too tall and thick, the ground too wet, the ticks too many.
I step thought the break in the low stone wall into the woods. I make begin a new path, just a few foot steps, around a dead tree that finally came down. The little waterfall is loud and frothy from the rain. The bench Ed Gulley made has acorn shells on it and I imagine the squirrel sitting there, eating.
I pull my fingers into my gloves warming them in a fist. Then I decide, instead of resisting the cold, instead of tightening my body, my muscles, my brain against it, I let go.
I breathe out the tension in my muscles, I stop thinking that I’m cold and start seeing what is in front of me instead. My body becomes soft, more fluid in its movement and instead of feeling like I’m walking in the woods, I become a part of the woods. I let the cold and damp seep into my skin, down to my bones, without judgement.
I am the air around me.
My body is still cold, but it doesn’t matter anymore.
Maybe this is the gift, I think. To not resist what I’m feeling. To not judge what I’m feeling. To not let my feelings keep me from seeing the reality that is right in front of me.
On the way back home, I visited the big, old shag bark hickory. I stopped and touched my tongue to a raindrop hanging off the tip of a branch. Fate ran ahead. I knew she’s be on the other side of the pasture gate when I got there. Both waiting for me, and getting as close to the sheep as she could.