By Emily Chance
On one freezing day during a time when I was feeling particularly down, I decided to take a walk to rid myself of my self-pity. Sure, it was about 35 degrees and I was only wearing a light jacket, but what I experienced there was completely worth it.
You see, I haven’t taken a hike in the woods since I was about 10 years old. I didn’t realize how much I missed it. As I grew up, I also grew scared of nature. There are so many disease-ridden creatures, and every time I get a mosquito it swells up to about the size of a golf ball. So, I figured I was safe if I went in during the colder weather.
It was a conservation area, so it was relatively safe and very well marked. Nobody was going to dare take a walk alone in that temperature, so I had the trail to myself.
The first time I walked through there, I didn’t hear anything at all. Everything was silent, and it was eerie.
The second time I walked through I saw live armadillos digging around. They are rather cute creatures when they’re not roadkill, rotting on the side of the road.
Then came the third, and more recent, time I took a walk on that trail. There were leaves covering the trail and I wanted to try to be quiet. I tiptoed my way through the leaves and attempting to find a small space of concrete to hold onto. When I came to the usual fork in the trail, I took the right one, marching down to the wooden lookout deck. When I got there, I leaned against the railing, watched, and listened. The woods came alive. When the wind blew through the dead leaves, I didn’t hear rattling or shaking. I didn’t feel like they were clinging onto that tree for all the life they have left. What I heard was singing. The leaves were singing, and the birds were dancing. Squirrels were playing, and I was listening to the wild symphony. I finally felt at peace.
Take a walk in the woods and listen. Really listen. And the woods will be eager to talk back.
Edited By: Catherine Lynch