Monday, June 22, 2015

Coming to Peace with Nature by Dawn Downey, Guest Blogger

This year I'm coming to terms with nature. Starting right now.

Nature means trees: ticks dropping out of them, spider webs stretched between them, and snakes curled up at their roots. I dislike these things. I walk every day, but choose sidewalks and treadmills, preferences no doubt borne from my suburban upbringing.

In April, my husband and I hiked in Wallace State Park. He studied the map painted on a wooden placard and selected Rocky Ford Trail, labeled moderate. As directed, we crossed a dam and headed for the trail. Once across Ben veered right. I continued straight. "How the hell did you know to turn?"

He pointed to a spot a couple yards beyond where he'd stopped. Sure enough, a trail, but it petered out into the patch of weeds at my feet. My attempt to understand the natural world was doomed. Hopeless. Mother Nature had failed to provide me the gene that signals where to change direction in the absence of street signs.

The trail wound through oaks still naked from winter. Bone white sycamore skeletons reached skyward, as it ran parallel to a stream. We stopped where a waterfall trickled over a limestone shelf. Cardinals sang accompaniment to the gurgling creek. The music so delicate you had to hold you breath to take it in. It nourished even a room service kind of girl like me. Lesson one: listen.

No comments:

Post a Comment