Invitation From The Woods


If I had any intention of walking in the woods, I would have worn my snowshoes.  But I was only going out to shovel and take care of the animals.

After I checked on the chickens, filled up the bird feeder, mucked out the barn and gave the sheep and donkeys hay and grain, I looked past the apple tree into the woods.

I didn’t think about it, it just happened.  As if the woods called to me inviting me in.

I watched my red boots step, one after the other into the opaque white.   Down the hill into the back pasture, and through the gate, I pushed past the snow-heavy branches to the Gulley bridge.

The snow wasn’t as deep once I was in the woods.  Most of it was piled on the branches of the trees or hanging from them in clumps.  Zinnia ran ahead and Fate took a while to catch up to us.

But I wasn’t paying attention to the dogs.

I let my body guide me as if I were in a trace.  I just wanted to “be” in the woods at that moment and the next.

I walked for a while,  and then my phone rang.  It was Jon wondering where I was.  I’d been gone much longer than it takes to feed the animals.  When he came out of the house and couldn’t find me, he got concerned.

I told him that I was drawn to the woods, that I wanted to see what they looked like in this snow.  But when he asked me about it,  I couldn’t explain.  I still can’t. The only thing that comes to mind is the feeling of heavy, wet, white.

Now I’m sitting in the living room writing this.

It’s warm and quiet except for the sound of Bud licking himself like a cat. Out the window, snow is swirling, like a dust devil in front of the red barn.  The snow-covered roof disappears into the white sky. A pigeon flies into the barn through the broken window on the gable end.

The wind has pocked the screens on the north side of the house with snow. If it keeps blowing the bedroom will be too cold to sleep in despite the electric heat and blanket.

So we’ll sleep downstairs, where it’s warmer.  And closer to the ground where the snow continues to pile up.

8 thoughts on “Invitation From The Woods

  1. What a beautiful picture! It looks as if the tree tops are bowing together to make a safe space for you to accept their invitation and enter into the snowy woods!

  2. Thank you for taking me into the woods this a.m. I can no longer walk in the woods. My trees call to me, and I go out on the deck to listen to their greeting. Your words stir my imagination, and I am suddenly there with you. You have a beautiful gift in your writing.

    1. I love that you listen to the trees Fran, even if you can’t walk in them anymore. I’m so glad to be able to share my walks with you.

  3. Your writing and photography are very good. Have you considered writing a book about your 21st century adventures in rural life?

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