Friday, December 9, 2011

A Walk in the Woods

One of my family's favorite pastimes to do as a whole is to take a little hike in the woods at our local park. I really enjoy nature but don't get as much time with it as I'd like. I can tell when it's been too long between visits because I begin to yearn for it. Especially when times are rough and stressful there's a sacredness, a retreat in nature, that calls to me. Some of my favorite books pertain to a person's relationship with the wilderness, like Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer (I've read the book, watched the movie, and listened to the book on tape!--yeah, I'm a fan of this work). Like McCrandless, sometimes I need that solo journey in the wild--to get away from the superficial and the materialism--to renew my spirit. Another good story to check out is A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson. It's about his venture hiking the length of the Appalachian Trail with a buddy. It's quite humorous. Oh, do I admire him! In another life, if I couldn't be a Trappist monk, then I'd hike the entire Appalachian Trail! That sounds amazing to me. Of course, as it is, my life does not afford me the opportunity to attain this goal in this lifetime. But I hold those who do, or at least attempt this feat, in high regards. My brother has a friend who might try the A.T. sometime--I'll have to live vicariously through him. For now, I must settle for short excursions in the local park.

One of the wonderful things about this park is that a local Eagle Scout, as a project, color coded three separate trails of varying lengths. He erected signs and spray painted colored dots on the trees to tell which path you're on and where to go, then designed an accompanying map. Here, O is using her map skills acquired from Dora the Explorer, to guide the family on the trail.