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