Monday, July 28, 2014

Another Walk in the Woods

Walking in the woods again.  I know this is not news, nor is it some kind of unique attribute of mine to be able to do this. It's just that I've been in some kind of blah zone lately having the concentration of a fruit fly.  I don't want to do anything.  When CA suggested that we go climb the mountain, an idea that usually causes me to jump into high gear, I mumbled a feeble, "Oh, I guess so", and off we went.

We had chosen a trail on the south side of Bradbury Mountain that is a steady climb until it reaches the shoulder of the mountain and then comes to the Boundary Trail.  We got all the way to the top without having to stop to catch our breath - a pleasant surprise.  It's a beautiful walk and the sense of being "away" is immediate.  I knew that I was into it and I smiled with the  realization that a walk in the woods is not only a special privilege, but a powerful balm for the soul, not just the body.  It never fails.

I began to think of other walks in other woods at other times in my life as far back as my memory goes, all the way to Louisiana.  It really feels like I am connecting with my roots - no pun intended - the "who" that I am, when I am in the woods.

The woods: If there is a place where Spirit dwells, it is there.  If there is a place where solitude is found, it is there.  If there is a place that doctors the soul and points to your true north, it is there. 

I am lucky.  All I have to do is walk out my back door and I am in the woods.  There was a time when most of us Americans lived near or actually in the woods.  Slowly we migrated toward more urban environments and soon many of us found ourselves living out of easy reach of woods or wilderness.

When you think about it, central heat, electricity, paved roads, WiFi and that magic called "access" all add up to a powerful incentive that seems to overwhelm our sylvan roots.  Personally, I think it's important to retreat to the wilderness from time to time to unplug, to see, to listen and to walk in gratitude to the rhythmic metronome of your heart.

Monday, July 7, 2014


There are times in those fragile morning hours that I entertain a passing regret for failing to yield to temptation. It would serve no purpose, aside from the puerile, to catalog such remembrances and besides, those regrets are indeed passing. More substantive regrets arise from those times when I did "yield unto temptation", just to see, I suppose, if the rumor was true about the sweetness of forbidden fruit. Though I would love to revise a few of those scripts, a pleasure not accorded in this life, forbidden fruit is, indeed sweet, and brief. "For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." (KJV, of course) Such is the pleasure of forbidden fruit. Or, any fruit at all. "For what is your life...."

I have regrets. The man or woman who boldly declares having no regrets has never lived, or, has descended from heaven spotless and pure to the bone. I have met a few people who seemed to believe themselves to be such beings, but in reality were, or needed to be, on serious medication.

Any discussion about regrets always seems to me to be an exercise in semantics. So, would I rather  not have those memories? Those experiences? No. Those memories and experiences are who I am. The healthy person must weave them into the warp and woof of his/her life.

Yes - I would love to recall that ill chosen word, or that misguided relationship or that quite stupid decision that nearly wrecked my life. However, I do not dwell upon those things. Regrets dwelt upon are poison to the soul. Regrets acknowledged and then put aside are just the stuff of one's history. Move on!

Now that I have that cleared up, I regret not having made a rhubarb pie tonight. It's the season and that season is like the verse above says...."It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." This is one regret I can fix. If I hurry up, that is.

Be well and Stay tuned

Jerry Henderson