We wake at dawn with the rising sun coming up and the bluish hue of light cresting the peaks around us. The gentle whispering of a nearby stream silently brush the senses awake, and I unzip the tent flap, shaking off droplets of dew onto the ground that spread in the sand as if tears of joy fell from my eyes. That first cold breath plumes into the chilled sky, and we walk through the mist with light steps that still loudly crunch the gravel underfoot. After the heavy and familiar weight of a bag settles onto our shoulders, our footsteps began to recede from the sleeping ears of the inhabitants still at camp. The sounds of our own traveling is announced by inanimate rocks.
Slowly the trees and the plants grow thicker and creep along the wet, fertile path that smells equal parts of the air after a rain shower and of the sweet musk of a rose. It is the golden early morning light that filters through the trees in beams and illuminated pockets of the forest around us like glittering jewels among the dense green.
As the birds shiver off their sleep, gentle chirping alights upon our ears and suddenly many dozens of them are rustling in the branches overhead and the woods are now alive with the sound of many species. They crackle and chirp and whistle and sing. The sounds melding together into a symphony. It’s almost unbelievable the abundance of life that thrives here. You’ll almost never see the same thing anywhere else even nearby this patch of land because each section of land is different with its own character and personality.
The air itself grows a tad humid as the air warms and the forests bottom dwellers come to life as well, chirping and trilling in the lush, green grass.
When you walk in a fertile forest, your feet sink softly in not mud but broken down leaves and tree bark and dead grass that decompose into life giving soil alive with many trillions of little organisms and bacteria that are the backbone of the land.
The air is sweet. It feels healthy and soul-fulfilling just to breathe. Just to take in a lungful and look around at the oxygen producing wonders around us is powerful. The air is heavy with the breath of life.
Once and awhile, through the trees we see a hint of blue or perhaps the rushing sound of a river nearby but just as quickly as it came it disappears. The forest here is truly thick and instead of feeling claustrophobic, you realize that there are no walls around us but an infinite amount of paths to traverse each one leading to another world, another experience. Perhaps one experience could be a river or a lake or a patch of crystals sitting on this small square of earth. Where your feet land is new and untouched and untrodden because the life will regrow after being pressed or tamped down.
Though at first we may have been anxious or worried, the clean air and thrum of the land gives rise to serene peace. For once we feel truy in the moment and in the present is where our mind stays. It lingers on the gentle sway of a flower and the hint of honeyed, minty tree sap coming from a cut in one, large pine tree. It lingers on the way the moss covers the rock in a multi colored embrace and the way each leg pumps and morphs with the lay of the land underfoot and not the flat gray of an asphalt trail.
Without all the distractions of daily life the world seems to open and accept us into its arms. We are one with that power or being or flowing essence which we perceive exists in the world. It’s a measure of spirituality and freedom to take a walk in free woods and partake in a pristine world devoid of the things that make us lose confidence or lose pride. The trees do not judge. Therefore we stand tall among them.
I know of no greater therapy than a walk in the wild forests of our world.