Thursday, October 13, 2016


My heart is heavy this week, after some bad news about a friend—acquaintance? Hard to say which these days. A lovely person I saw occasionally whom I should have taken the time to get to know better. Isn't that true of so many in our harried lives?

We had plans this weekend for a quick overnight hiking trip. Plans that were derailed by a solid day of rain Sunday, much to the relief of three boys. I realize I haven't honored their need to recover from this summer's trip. They jumped right back into school the day after we got home—a week after we came off the trail—and have not had a chance to rest and process the trip, as I have had. So they were very, very reluctant to go backpacking again, even just five miles each way.

The unexpected turn of events freed up two days on our calendar, which seemed to instantly self-populate right through September and October as soon as we came off the trail. After we unpacked from the trip we never went on and took care of all the housework I had planned to ignore, I took myself out for a little walk around in the rain.

I've hardly had my camera out at all since we got back and it was kind of nice to just walk around and point it at whatever caught my eye.

After a friend commented on my Hiking Journal post, about how it's difficult to get her students to turn to reflection after "death march" hiking days (she teaches in an experiential program—which sounds amazing). And it made me think about action versus reflection, expression versus inspiration.

I find it hard to balance these—do I go out and walk quickly through the woods for exercise, or do I meander, noticing what is around me and think about what it means? Do I sit down and write 20 pages, or do I curl up with a book?

This month (okay, and last month, too) I've definitely felt like burrowing. I'd much rather read than write. I've been more focused on trying to stay in shape than looking under rocks.

So it was nice to have an afternoon to just wander and look and think. To appreciate this autumn season, which is so fleeting, as are all seasons, as is life.

And then I began this week refreshed. Ready to write, to reflect, to be productive.


  1. It's part of it being fall, I think. I should be writing and doing (and I am still) but burrowing in with a book is necessary, too.

  2. Sorry to hear you had bad news about your friend, Andrea.
    I loved reading your reflections on reflection. I have been striving for the balance as well.

    1. Thank you, Dawn. It's that time of year—and life—to figure out what's important, don't you think?

  3. Beautifully said Andrea . I find myself pondering upon these same conflicts daily when I cram so much into my day and at the same time try to live mindfully. Nature always slows me down as I am in awe about all the beauty around us.

    1. Thank you, Alice! Nature is the great healer.


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