What the Woods Taught Me

IMG_3192Out walking yesterday, I was reminded of this: stop, look, listen. That’s what the woods taught me. Hardly all at once but over time the forest has educated me in paying attention, how not to be in a hurry or absorbed by distant thoughts. Rather: here and this and now!

What appears as a visual chaotic cacophony is actually an enormous number of separate parts in action, coming together to create the forest floor—trees and fallen tree limbs, lichen, rocks, bushes, lots of assorted detritus, layer upon layer of mulching matter, a host of animals, mostly hidden from view, from the tiniest insects to mice and squirrels, rats and rabbits, so many birds—at least when I’m out there, that’s mostly who’s there or who I know of, anyway.

In a shady place, the tiniest of flowers was clustered trailside. White, five-petaled, yellow-centered speck-like testaments to spring raised their bright heads toward the filtering sunlight. And there we were, Jeannie and me, bending down for a closer look. It’s spring, after all, it’s spring!