Tag Archive 'town forest'

Oct 06 2016

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A Touch of Wildness

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town-forest-pond-early-octThe smell is the first thing I notice, stepping into the local town forest. It’s the smell of withering ferns, newly dropped leaves, and something distinctly autumnal that doesn’t quite sync with the mostly green canopy overhead. It all comes as something of a shock. Is it that time of year already?

My dog Matika and I amble down a trail still muddy from the previous day’s rain. Impressed by the recent trail work, I wander in circles while tracing three of the four blazed paths here. The late afternoon sunlight penetrates the shadowy forest in places. I glide along effortlessly, moving in and out of it.

Surprising silence. No birds singing out, no chirp or chatter, no wind. Suddenly it feels like I have stepped out of time and am now walking through another dimension. I start daydreaming. Startled frogs jumping into water snap me out of my reverie as I approach the pond…

Still pond gathering light from a clearing sky. Brilliant fall color just now coming out. But there’s something else going on here – a slow and subtle end to all growth. Too soon it seems, greenery lasting not more than six months at these latitudes. And yet it’s all right on schedule. Nature adheres religiously to its own rhythms.

Climbing a gentle rise away from the pond, I break a sweat despite the cool air. I’m moving faster now, heading back to my car at the trailhead, back to the work at home that still requires attention. It’s like that sometimes. I start leaving the forest behind before even stepping out of it. Yet my blood is up now, so a touch of wildness will stay with me a while longer.



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Sep 03 2014

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Wandering and Wondering

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town forestIt’s a warm, very humid morning and I’m as restless as my dog Matika. We need to stretch our legs. Have to do a shift at the store later on so I should stay close to home.  With that in mind, I head for a town forest only a ten-minute drive away.

The trail system in the town forest has been forgotten. Either that or no one has gotten around to improving it yet. Not that it matters. When I’m in the mood to wander, the slightest hint of a trail will do. Don’t even need that, really.

Having only been here one time before, I wander in circles. That’s how I get to know a place. I check my compass regularly to keep myself oriented. I visit the small pond twice and loop back to the parking lot three times before it’s clear just how small this town forest is. Fine by me. This is all I need today.

I wonder as I wander, allowing my train of thought to loop around and crisscross as the trail system does. This is how, as a thinker/writer, I orient myself. It’s September now and I’ll soon be returning to my literary work. Although it’s still technically summer for another three weeks, I’m feeling the tug of autumn.

I return to the car soaked in sweat then head back home to make plans for the months ahead. What’s the best use of my time? That’s the driving question. As I grow older, this puzzle becomes more difficult to solve. So much depends upon what one holds dear, and at my age the list is long.


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