I didn’t expect to be in the woods so long. But it was one of those days when I longed to be outside.
Back when I was I was in school or worked a job where I was indoors all day, the early spring weather was also about freedom to me. As if the warmth, sunlight, and smells were luring me to start walking without knowing where I was going and only stop when I was too tired to go any further.
I no longer crave that freedom. Since then I have learned that I couldn’t get it from running away, but from going within.
So now, even though the smell of warm air might flash me back to those days, for me, this early spring weather even in the middle of February, is about being outside. About feeling, seeing, and smelling what is right in front of me. And appreciating it for what it is.
I didn’t wander far today. We stayed in the boundaries of our property. Zinnia found the bone of a deer leg to chew on. And later the gray fur of a rabbit spread thin on the forest floor kept her busy.
There were no bones or skin, just the carpet of fur and a tuft of tail.
Snow only lingered in the shadow of fallen logs and the stone wall and ice still laced the edge of the stream.
I did find some color in the animal dropping under the old Shagbark Hickory. I thought it might belong to the Pileated Woodpecker who left shaving in the same area and a hole in a branch of the hickory.
As I walked, I thought of how fortunate I am now that walking in the woods and bringing back stories and ideas is a part of my work. And how all I have to do is listen with my whole being, because there is always a new story.