My weekend in the trees over the Autumnal Equinox was lovely. It was not as quiet as I’d hoped; two troops of boy scouts had occupied the same bit of forest available to me for the weekend, and were actively exploring it in the way that boys of that age are active like no other creatures. lol. I was not distressed by their activity, or their presence. Apparently, I may have grown some while I wasn’t looking. 🙂

Forest: the view from my tent.

Forest: the view from my tent.

Friday was still and quiet all day, and Sunday from the moment day broke through the milky predawn sky and the boy scouts fled the trees in a moderately orderly fashion (at the behest of their leaders), until I myself departed at noon, was again quite still and quiet. I mean, as quiet as forests get. Certainly, the forest has music all its own that rarely really ceases. I got plenty of quiet, certainly enough stillness to calm my spirit and nourish my soul, and oddly several very good nights of sleep. On that, it wasn’t that I didn’t wake in the middle of the night to pee – I did, and honestly the walk in the dark, and cold, to get to that destination – and of the sort it is when camping – did nothing to add pleasantly to that experience – it was simply that the sleep I got was simply exquisitely restful. Naps or nighttime, either way, the sleep I got over the weekend was of amazing quality for restfulness, depth, and pleasantness. I am a big fan of good sleep.

Friday, I hiked 10 continuous miles, and met a goal set for 2015.

Friday, I hiked 10 continuous miles, and met a goal set for 2015.

My weekend in the trees was spent hiking, studying, meditating, focused contentedly on me, on the ‘now’ I exist in, and on solidifying recent lessons from life’s curriculum. My Granny would have called it ‘sorting shit out’ and made an annoyed face at me for my ‘grand words’ (although she loved my writing, even my poetry). I found time, this weekend, to walk in solitude wrapped in the affection and memory of cherished friends and loved ones no longer walking a living path. I never felt ‘lonely’, even in those poignant moments when loss felt visceral and heavy as I walked the trails.

I had plenty of company, too, from this guy and his sibs.

I had plenty of company, too, from this guy and his sibs.

Some important things occurred to me this weekend, perhaps short of an epiphany, but the evolution of useful ideas and worthy of further consideration and study. I learned quickly that I don’t understand these new ideas well enough to communicate them to others, without stumbling over things important to them. Sharing ends up being for some other time, rather than now.

Some of this has been about a change in perspective...

Some of this has been about a change in perspective…

...I mean, seriously changing perspective.

…I mean, seriously changing perspective.

My last weekend solo camping ended feeling very ready to head home. This one, although I felt the absence of my loves and dear ones in a significant way, ended feeling vaguely as if no amount of time in the trees could ever feel ‘too much’ given adequate supplies, and a secure tent. I wasn’t quite ready to come home…until my traveling partner pulled up in the parking lot. Just seeing him took my breath away such that I very nearly didn’t give him the usual hug and kiss; the moment was so intense with the wonder of loving this being. This man of flesh and emotion, of thought and action, of will and tenderness standing before me just then for that one moment seemed an ‘everything’ unarguably enough to come out of the trees for.  My partner.

What followed was a quiet evening at home, each contentedly (it seemed to me) doing our own thing, sharing space and time, and now and then conversation. My partner made a point of bringing some healthy groceries home for a simple and nourishing evening meal. I cooked. My generally-at-home partner tidied up after. Teamwork. A partnership. It was a lovely evening of family and warmth and contentment. It was enough. This morning…it still is.

Sometimes the path is paved, pleasant, and a beautiful experience.

Sometimes the path is paved, pleasant, and a beautiful experience.

My body and my heart have returned from the forest. My feet will carry me to work today, and I’ll harness my mind to my employers goals and do what I do. My thoughts, generally, are still out there…in the trees…in the autumn forest…listening to the fall of pine needles in breezes…the guttural insistent croak of a frog somewhere in the distance…the squeak and chatter of the nearby chipmunks and squirrels…on the edge of an awakening, on the edge of understanding something more today than I did last week, and in the midst of becoming. Surely, there will be more words on this another day.

Today is a good day to be.