Feb 21 2013

Profile Image of Walt


Posted at 8:23 am under Blog Post

snowy treesIt’s amazing how a good walk alone in the woods can clean out the corners of one’s mind, cluttered as they might be with the petty frustrations of daily life. I hadn’t expected as much. I knew only that I had to jump off the merry-go-round for a while.

After driving an hour into the mountains, I left my car at the bottom of an unimproved road then followed a set of truck tracks back to a favorite jump off point. I stepped into the trackless snow beyond a closed gate, following an overgrown logging trail down to the iced-over brook.

A lone chickadee welcomed me. My dog Matika ran ahead, sniffing out wild animal sign. I tamped down four inches of heavy wet snow with each step I took, glad to have left my snowshoes behind. They weren’t made for these conditions.

The brook gurgled beneath the ice. That and the sound of trees creaking in an occasional gust of wind was all that broke the silence. Snow clung to tree branches, whitening the world all around me. I prefer being immersed in a green forest, but a white one will do in a pinch. The stark beauty of it worked its magic on my frayed nerves.

I stopped after bushwhacking for a mile and a half and turned my foam pad into a makeshift seat. Then I sat down. A strong gust of wind shook snow from the trees, chilling me to the bone. That cut my lunch break short. No matter. I sat there long enough to reboot.

The afternoon walk that followed was effortless – one slow step at a time. Not so much hiking as simply meandering through the woods, marveling at the silence and stillness of nature in winter.

Eventually I tagged the unimproved road and hiked out. But I was not the same man who had entered the woods a few hours earlier. I had reverted to my old, wild self and was happy for it. Too bad this frame of mind can’t be bottled.


One response so far

One Response to “Reboot”

  1. Bob Stantonon 21 Feb 2013 at 11:03 am 1

    I’m in dire need of a reboot myself. Too much work equals nature deficit disorder. Plus, I’ve got a new pair of hikers to break in.