The sun peeked through a partly-cloudy Sunday morning, so I put her red harness on Chelsea and drove us up the road to the NC Arboretum. My initiative was rewarded with a perfect pre-birthday treat.
|Me and My Shadow|
The temperature rose to 61 and I shed layers of clothing, as my enthusiastic partner and I responded to the lure of the sights, smells and sounds enticing our senses at each turn of the road.
Papery dead leaves talking in the gentle breeze. Damp earth encouraging new growth on thorny stalks, hairy vines, towering trees and dense underbrush. Bright purple vinca vine flowers poking up through eons of mulch. Bent Creek tumbling over rocks and glistening in pools. The diversity of texture, shape and shadow.
Chelsea checked for pee-mail and I found messages of another kind.
|Bloom No Matter What|
|Is it a butterfly in March?|
|It is a butterfly. Expect the Unexpected.|
|Even What's Rough Has Value|
|Go With the Flow|
I always bring a cell phone when I walk “alone” in the woods. This time I had my new I-Phone 5, with the music I had transferred from I-Tunes for our recent road trip through Florida. I set the mode to shuffle and the volume low enough for it to be only a backdrop to the call of nature and the occasional sounds of other walkers and sturdy souls on all-terrain bikes. A few oldies rose to the top of the play list. And then, as if angels knew what I needed, the medley of spirit soothing music I listened to nightly when I struggled for months against end-stage liver disease.
With no concern at all for who might be looking, there in the Pisgah Forest I danced with God to Bob Dylan and Jim Morrison. I swayed with the supple trees to Rod Stewart’s American Songbook. And somewhere between the National Azalea Repository and BentCreek Trail, breathing in and out in a walking meditation, I was literally brought to tears of gratitude for the gift of this day and a blessed awareness of my connection to all that was/is around me.
The perfect way to usher in a new year of life.