January 24, 2010

A natural path

The woods often call to me but I find that as I've grown older, I don't take the time or the energy to go there as much as I should. If I did, I might find that my meanderings would become a little more clear. But then again, I might not. There's a quieting balm that overtakes me as I focus on the beauty and the sounds that surround me when I do take the time to wander awhile. There's a chickadee flitting carelessly from branch to twig or a deer appearing as if from nowhere and dissolving into the brush noiselessly, as if it had never really been there.
My girls share a love of the outdoors and remind me that I need to go there more often. The sun was shining yesterday and they took me out for a stroll around the usual path. There are many memories out there; some happy, some sad. The treehouse, the stump that has been the target of many arrows from the restless natives, an old grapevine hoop for throwing atlatl darts through. Trees to climb, (and fall out of), the fire ring and the maple syrup evaporator. Grapevine swings, a wigwam under construction, graves of beloved dogs and cats who've left us with warm stories of, "Hey, remember when..." Teepees made of branches, just big enough for a couple of little girls; stories of Gimbledorf, the elusive dwarf who's lived in these woods time out of mind (or at least since my girls were small!); and the ever scary "wild straws" who are so skinny that they can hide behind anything and have really sharp teeth.
I'm glad my wanderings have taken me back to those places and times. It's good to know those tales have not been lost forever and are memories we'll always share.
As I look ahead to Spring, I think of the plants that will begin to peek out of the last bit of snow. Some bringing with them healing properties that I can harvest and use to take care of my family. It's a very comforting thought. In His wisdom, God has given us an environment that, with proper stewardship, can yield a pharmacopia of remedies right in our own back yard and wood lot.
I think I'll plan to spend more time this year exploring and enjoying my little piece of earth. Making new memories and expanding on old ones. I wonder how old Gimbledorf is doing anyway.

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