On my drive I feel tense, pedal to the medal, with my eyes on the prize. I know where I’m headed and I want to get there as quickly as possible. Finally, the miles and miles of suburbs are behind me and I can feel my body begin to relax. I make that left at the four way stop, go about ¾ of a mile and there they are. A smile creeps up on my face as the country music on the radio touches my heart; I’m home in my woods.
The days I spend out in the woods are my favorite. I’m relaxed, open to my environment, and feel completely at home. Nothing is as calming as spending an afternoon in my hammock; looking out on the fields and studying the quirks of my favorite tree. In the woods I can get dirty and not worry about it, play with motorcycles, fish, or even fall in love. I walk around barefoot and revel in the feel of the soft ground, chuckling when I trip on roots or stub my toe. I thank my lucky stars on a daily basis that I have such a place to come to and call home.
I believe that I am connected to this land; that I am at home more here than any other place in this world. The land where my woods are belonged to my Grandfather. He decided that if his children wanted they could take part of the property and build their homes on it. My parents did just that and when I was but four years old, my relationship with the woods started. Since then I have identified myself with this majestic place and have been grateful for the loving gift my Grandfather offered so many years ago.
The farther I venture from home, the more I miss my woods. Moving from this place would cause me more than home sickness; it would cause me to mourn. After being gone for a while I have to spend time reconnecting with woods like I’m catching up with an old friend. I walk my old path, quietly noticing the changes in the foliage, sit by the lake and wait for the minnows to appear around my toes, and revel in the feeling of being home. So this I believe, that my soul is tethered to a place more beautiful than any person could ever be, where real peace can be achieved, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
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