In the Woods
It’s early in the morning when we arrive at the trailhead. I get out of the car to stretch my arms and to take a few deep breaths. We unload our backpacks from the trunk. I tighten the straps to my body, clip my hat on one of the side pockets and we begin to walk. My mind is pre-occupied with worries and concerns. I am lost in thought. As we ascend and walk deeper into the woods, it all dissipates. I am brought to the present moment by the sound of my breath as we climb. I focus on where to plant my hiking poles and the steps I need to take to avoid slipping. As the trail stabilizes to an even terrain, I relax and my senses come alive. I begin to hear the chirping birds and the rustling leaves. I notice the textures from the trees and branches. Somewhere along the trail, I see the light. It’s very subtle but I notice it. God is here, I say to myself. I pause and marvel at what is in front of me. I compose and take a picture. I survey the scene particularly observing its subtleties in tone and contrast as it falls on the landscape. I take a few more photographs. Thank you for this beautiful fleeting moment, I say to myself in silence. Then I pick up my pace and start walking again.