I will not walk in the woods today. On Wednesday I stop work early to go to Bellydancing Class, so there is no time for a walk.
Anyway, there are gunshot echoing around the farm. I’m not sure where they’re coming from. It’s target practice for hunting season which will be here soon.
Today I washed the clothes I took of yesterday after walking in the woods. They’re drying on the line.
For the first time since the summer, I followed the deer trail through the gate in the back pasture, walked over the Gulley Bridge, and pushed aside the tall dying grasses on my way to the fallen rocks in the stone wall.
Before entering the woods, Fate sniffed some drying scat left on top of the wall to claim territory. I looked down at my leggings and wasn’t surprised to find six ticks stuck to them. But I was already through the worst of it, so I moved on.
In the woods, I visited the familiar spots.
The fallen hickory, its upturned roots creating an arched wall of drying soil and rocks. The small pond in its footprint deep enough for Zinnia to run through.
I caught the sunlight peeking through the broken branch of the giant maple.
I was hoping there might still be a nut on the hazelnut tree, but they were all gone. I did find several bouquets of green flowers, almost too small to see, blooming on the Witchhazel tree.
I sat for a while on a fallen tree, its bark long gone, where I’ve sat before. My boots crunched into the thick bed of leaves that covered the forest floor.
I didn’t realize how anxious I’d been until I felt my heart slowing, my mind settling, my eyes softening. I thought of how often my anxiety has taken me to the woods. And here I was once again being healed by the trees and the world they inhabit.
How grateful I was to have my little patch of Orphaned Woods.
On our way back to the farm Fate and Zinnia ran ahead. When I got to the stone wall I saw that the scat was gone. One of the dogs had eaten it, leaving their own mark by omission.