Last night while our husbands watched the football game and the women played spud and otherwise corralled the many children, we also chatted about where we were going on Sunday morning.
This church, that church. "I'm thinking of heading to "Our Lady of the Holy Mattress," said one very honest friend. I kept my mouth shut, but secretly had plans to head to my favorite place to spend just about any morning. The Woods.
We took the kids on a four-mile trek up and down the hills and valleys of Wooster. If you think that Wooster doesn't have hills, you've never been to Wooster Memorial Park. You should go. It just may surprise you, and kick your butt all in the same wonderful visit.
Down the ravine, across the creek, up the other side, etc. etc. etc., we were about 3/4 of our way through and I had a revelation. When you're in the woods, the air must be better and a little more oxygen gets to the brain. It lets you think, put things into perspective, and reflect on everything that isn't in your normal life. Maybe it's the fact that you can't see anything but trees and dirt or maybe it's that cell phones don't work down in the thick of it. Maybe it's just one of those cosmic things.
In any case, here's the glorious thought I had: (Thanks to kerc for the initial idea!)
"I've got our New Year's resolution for 2010. We're going to spend 10 nights in a tent and hike 100 miles next year."
This, I think, should be very doable. 365 days to get it all done. I'll buy a notebook, keep a log. If it goes well, in 2011 we'll shoot for 11 days and 110 miles. And so on, and so forth.
I realize some readers are thinking that I'm absolutely crazy, that any night in a tent or any measure of wooded walks that hit the three digit mark (toting three kids along, mind you) makes me completely off my rocker, a half a bubble left of plumb, a few raisins short of gorp.
This is where I come clean.
There are things you know deep down, the things that make you feel absolutely at peace with yourself. These things make you happy, give you energy, and become an obsession and/or passion. Some people go ga-ga for horses. We all know at least one horse person, the kind who wear western clothing in non-western places. They've got horseshoe stickers on the backs of their pick-up trucks and talk about their animals more than their kids.
They love horses. And that's wonderful.
There are also the people who are really passionate about politics. Their bumpers are covered with political stickers and can change any conversation into a debate about health care or government funding.
"I made chicken for dinner last night. It was delicious."
"Good thing it wasn't undercooked. You'd have to go to the doctor, and then you'd have to wait four hours and get poor care all because....yadda yadda yadda...." (I tend to block it out.)
There are the school sports people, the ones whose entire lives revolve around home vs. away games and that name their pets after school mascots.
There are the ocean/beach people, who would sell everything they have just to live in a shanty where the roar of the surf puts them to bed every night.
I am, I declare, someone who belongs in the woods.
I love the smell of dirt, walking on a bed of pine needles. I get all googly when I see an odd mushroom or a chipmunk run across the trail. Creek crossings send me sky high and stopping for a quick break on an overlook is as about lovely as it gets.
Last weekend on a short hike I got a bug in my eye that went in so far I had to pick it out with a Q-tip. And you know what? I didn't care.
I have poison ivy on the back of my leg and a skeeter had a nice dinner on my neck today. Don't care.
It's all part of finding that place in your life where you belong and it makes you so happy that people start referring to you as "that" person. The beach bum, the horse lady, the democrat/republican. The woods girl.
I'd better go get some stickers for the back of my car.
Bright lights, bright mornings…? - I’m not going to lie. I get really crabby in the winter. My family quietly urges me to seek sunlight, drink joyous teas, meditate, sing, eat, dance, and...