My Broken Woods

The trees in the woods where I walk, the woods I think of as “my woods” even though I know I belong to them more than they belong to me, are crooked and broken.

They’ve been logged recently enough to have patches of sticker bush and Japanese honeysuckle underbrush.  The big trees that do grow there are mostly quick-growing pines and old craggy maples that were probably shade trees for the cows and sheep when the woods were pasture.

It’s not a pristine woods, like the romantic photos of the Redwood Forests with their lush fern understory that I saw in photos when I was a kid and fell in love with.

I’ve only walked in a Redwood Forest once, but I can’t imagine that the sense of peace and belonging I feel walking in the broken woods behind the farm could bet any better.

Different maybe, but not better.

Today as I walked in the woods with Fate, I could feel the energy from the earth seeping into the bottoms of my feet, up my legs and spreading throughout my body.  The woods filled me up and pushed everything else inside of me out.

I think the donkeys could feel it when I got back to the barnyard.  Because both Fanny and Lulu stopped their single-file walk back to the barn and waited for me.  I squatted between them and buried my face in the warm soft hair on Lulu’s neck.

I can’t get enough of that smell, like cold earth warmed by the sun.

Soon Jon and I are leaving for Vermont, we’ll be back tomorrow.

I wish you all the Christmas you want.

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