The silence of the woods.

This morning I have felt shackled to the old fiend depression. As I contemplated the various parts of my life, the grip of depression grew stronger. In a fit of pure spontaneity, I got in my truck and headed for the woods. I parked, grabbed my phone and started out on my trek to nowhere. As I slipped through the shadows, the thought occurred to me: Every part of the woods serves a purpose. From the smallest particles of fungi, to the numerous spiders, everything serves a specific order.

The beast within me didn’t want to hear it. It wanted to be unchained and allowed to stomp around. As I crossed the brook, climbed over rocks and observed the wildlife that scurried about their daily life, my spirit found peace. “You have a purpose.” Unobserved, I continued my walk and my mind drifted to the multiplicity of days that I spent in the brush with my father, brother and grandfather. It was not enjoyable every time, however, as I have grown older these memories are cherished. I finish my walk through the woods surrounding the cabin, and I head to the suspension bridge.

Caution tape litters the bridge, and I decide not to chance it. Bear Creek slowly flows underneath and I head to the bank to see what photos I can take. I hear the bubbling sounds of water breaking upon the rocks, so I start my walk in that direction. As if a shadow I move through the brush, the only evidence of my being there is the photos that I have taken. I hear my grandfather in the babbling of the brooks. Tears fill my eyes as I realize that my heart still hurts from his loss.  About this point, a strange dog sneaks up on me and startles me. Chuckling at my own silliness, I continue through the brush and come upon a tree with no bark. Rotten throughout its core, it still stands. It reminds me of the scripture that says, “When you have done all you can do, stand.” The bonds of depression slipped off, and I made my way back with my unwanted companion. Since the dog had adopted me, I dubbed him George. As my companion panted in the clean air we eased back to the bridge. George decided that it was time to part ways so he left, and I was alone again with my thoughts.

Nature has a way of calming me. The sweet singing of the birds, the deepening croak of the bullfrog chorus, still the anxiety that I have been feeling. The gentle running of the river reminds me that it is not speed that matters in life, but rather the consistency of our life. My mind drifts to Hugh. To friends that I have lost throughout the years. Their race is complete. Life is meant to be lived. It doesn’t matter if it is one step or one minute at a time. In the end, no one wishes that they had spent more time at work.

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