I have often entered the woods carrying my burdens like a heavy backpack. The first part of my hike is spent thinking, pondering, stressing. Replaying problems or anticipating future roadblocks. Sometimes my thoughts are in a tangle, others they are firmly focused on the issue I am dealing with.
Yet, as I step along, Anna trotting ahead of me, my worries begin to dissipate. Sometimes I have arrived at the solution, but many times my concerns are tread into the path, taken in by the trees. Like they turn carbon into oxygen, the leaves filter my thoughts until I am left with peace.
I have brought some pretty serious problems with me into the forest, but I can’t remember one time that I left without feeling some relief, some belief that I will figure it out and things will be OK. At times, I am even given an epiphany.
The woods come with many gifts, but their ability to soothe, to take me in and change me, is one that I reverence always. I often say my thanks out loud to the trees: the best I can do to repay them for this free service.
If you like my writing, you should check out my book: Tao of Thoreau