My walks to the woods have become less frequent these January days. The winter turned damp and dank, the ground soggy and muddy. I began to wait for the solid ground of freezing temperatures to arrive, and in the meantime, I got sick.
Sick means resting. Sick means staying inside where you stand less chance of getting chilled.
I have been fighting this illness for such a long time that I forgot about my daily walks to the woods. I know that my soul misses those treks up and down hills, through the trees, crunching on leaves and sticks, stepping over slowly creeping muddy creeks and feeling the presence of the spirits of the woods.
I miss my unseen friends there. I miss just sitting in their presence and feeling their support and unconditional love. The peace that comes over me as I walk though the sacred setting is a source of energy and sustenance, rejuvenation that seems to have faded along with the fiery colors of fall as winter gray has taken over.
In the woods I find an aloneness that is not lonely. In contrast it is nurturing and loving. A walk to the unknown, a place that takes me home.
I must return there, through crackling, icy grass, with the wind forming ice crystals in my airways. I must go there alone to rekindle the fire of my soul.