It isn’t often that you see someone just enjoying our natural areas. More correctly, many people are out in our natural areas having fun, grateful to have nature all around them as they hike, bike and maybe chat with a friend. And especially this spring with so much color and song. You can almost hear the vibrating shades of green and waving flowers; you can almost see the bird song and whisper of the wind. Almost.
As we like to say among our volunteers – get out and get in to it. But perhaps we should add try stopping and standing still, alone, and just soak it up.
I did this recently on Limbo Loop by the big oak that greets those headed up from the meadow to the top of the ridge that now leads back to Virgil’s Way and the overpass. But near where the trail runs between the trunks on the low rock platform I hung my hammock on Sunday afternoon. My intentions where industrious: jot out some gratitude cards, plan the busy week ahead, some other tasks for which my over-stuffed fanny pack was equipped. I forgot a small pillow, nothing some improvisation can’t fix. I laid back and listened. I looked up and into the canopy. I fell asleep and snoozed for a nearly an hour.
That is what is supposed to happen if you try to meditate and you are really tired. That is what nature can give you – a moment away, a moment unplugged. The squirrel and the roadrunner had time to adjust to me so they could return to their industry when I woke still very calm and feeling completely unencumbered. Watching them gave me a sense of this place without me.
Early Saturday and Sunday mornings I listen to recorded radio features. On Sunday it was “To the Best of Our Knowledge” featuring interviews under the theme Into the Woods. They reminded me of the thinking of Thoreau, Muir, Wendell Barry and Annie Dillard.
Many people reading this will believe they do not have the time, it’s too hot, too something. It is more likely they have forgotten how valuable it is to get away, get out and get in to it and stay quietly, still enough to the place completely, to see what it is like without you…t.o.d.
– Todd Derkacz, SMGA Board President