This article is dedicated to the brown-eyed girl who taught me the forest is more than just the trees.
Surrounded by the forest, I strolled in solitude with my thoughts accompanying me. Along the path, vines shot out from the Earth’s surface with the fallen leaves gently relaxed under the trees’ shade.
The trees concealed me as I trekked my way along the trail. Everything around me was so natural but all so unfamiliar at the same time. The concrete jungle had become home. My mind was locked up in a world of steel beams, zooming highways, and cranes penetrating the sky above making anything else outside of the “24/7 construction site” unimaginable.
A short distance ahead of me rest a small wooden bench. There was not one fiber of wood out of place or one sign of rust. It was perfect and it was as if it had been waiting there since the beginning of time. Just waiting for those who sought restoration. The bench was positioned in front of a wide opening, which granted me a snapshot of the entire park.
My eyes dazzled at the view as I was enthralled by the sheer vastness of the lake with the forest lining the edges of the water bank. Bright white clouds danced in the azure-colored sky above. As I rested on the bench, I could not imagine anything more perfect and beautiful than what was before me. There was a level of honesty and completeness to it all. A level of honesty that is becoming harder to find in this overly stimulated, “gotcha” world. Everything my eyes laid upon contained an unreplicable level of sincerity. Here, there was no want nor any demand for more. I only felt a pull; a pull to listen to what is.
After taking a deep inhale and exhaling, I listened to my breath leave my mouth and finally, I could hear everything so clearly. I heard the birds singing, the squirrels rustling through the leaves, and the breeze whistling through the trees. Absolute purity flowed through my ears. No words needed to be said. No thoughts had to be generated. I relished in nature’s simplicity and bathed in the silence nature provided.
Nature provides us a reminder of who we truly are and gives us the feeling that we are somehow connected to all the trees, water, birds, and rocks that surround us. That through all of life’s chores, overthinking, and desire for more, nature is a reminder that life can be simple. When you console in her, she will listen. If you ask her for clarity, she will happily provide it. It is all so complete.
In nature, you do not have to become, you just have to “be.”
Photo Credit: Jordon Lee, “Winding Forest.”