Monday, March 14, 2016
Saturday afternoon. C is making syrup. Again. Still. E and Z run around outside, "helping." M is in the basement, making music.
I've gone round and round, written and rewritten and rewrittenwritten an essay a zillion times. I'm not quite ready to hit "submit," but I don't want to look at it anymore. I'm sick of the inside of my own head, and the inside of my house, and sick and tired of hiking the same old same old trail to the same old same old river.
I hop in the car.
"Where are you going?"
"Hiking? Alone? Where?"
"I haven't decided yet."
I drive to a place that, according to my guidebook, I haven't been to since 3/14/04. Which is proof that it's not always snowy in March. I follow the first loop trail I come to, along the river. I wonder, not for the first time, to be the "mother-nature writer" whose kids don't want to hang out with her in nature anymore. I pick up a stick on the ground that looks like a magic want and cast spells and charms as I walk along. "Wingardium leviosa."
I practice the focusing questions that John Muir Laws recommends in his life-changing book The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling: I notice. I wonder. I remember. I notice moss, lots of green moss. I wonder what that lemon-colored lichen is. I remember walking here 12 years ago.
I finish one loop and make my way to another. There are people taking photos by the falls. A wet dog that does not honor personal space. More people on another branch. I run into a friend by the kiosk, also tired of her same-old trail, out for a big adventure. We chat for a while and go our separate ways; she to finish her loop, me to return home refreshed, renewed.