I walk alone
into the forest
on a crisp fall day. Under the canopy, the bright
afternoon sun can't win against the chill. I marvel at the trees, so tall
they make mine at home seem unfinished, by comparison. A blush of red, a tinge of
yellow says that autumn
here, and only six days after the calendar says so.
Each step reminds me I'm in a different place: the earth, spongy
gives beneath my tread and springs back. Decades of leaves, layer upon layer,
transition gradually into soil
below the surface.
As I walk, I get incredibly happy, just thrilled to have found this stolen hour
to use as I please, in a faraway place on a Thursday afternoon,
when I would otherwise be sitting at my desk. Seconds later, in an amazing turnabout,
tears come to my eyes as I realize that I don't make time in my life
alot of the time for what's important to me. This stroll in the woods,
completely unplanned, is a gift of circumstance -- a gift to myself,
and it's the best, most important part of the trip. Not the presentation.
Not the meeting with the client.
After walking for 20 minutes or so, I come to the shore of the small lake.
I burst forth eagerly into the sunshine, glad for the warmth, and notice
it's mostly calm on this south-facing shore. A heron, disturbed by my
eruption, leaves his post by the little bay. The shore is covered with rocks.
Many are rounded. If these were loaves of bread, some of them have been
sliced! Flat slices of roundish rocks, a centimeter or less thick, lie among
their whole brothers and sisters. I select two as a memento.
When I get back to the car, I notice that they fit together. Perfectly.