The one place I feel my strength return is hiking in the Adirondacks. I can't always find someone to hike with and so I have been going on my own, or rather, with my unwelcome companion, which has made the silence in the woods roar in that special way it does when you are alone in the forest with your grief.
The stones emanate a strong presence, the wind animates and the trees have never felt like such dear friends. The energy from the trees is palpable, I feel like I am among a tribe
of friends who hold something profoundly alive and deep within their core beings. My own heart beats in rhythm with this thrumming of the forest.
I have to navigate over boulders, roots and rocks. I must pay attention and be aware of my body's placement within the contours of this landscape. In so doing, I become aware of the sounds; birds, wind, creaking trees, the scents; sweet, sharp and earthy. I also feel the pull of the earth's strong body as though I am a part of this strength and we are both a part of the same landscape. We feel interconnected and entwined as the roots and rocks who hold the earth in their loving embrace.
And then there are the clouds, the clouds that roll out into what seems like eternity.
Layers and layers of snowy movement in the blue summer sky like an ocean of love floating overhead.
I am alive! What a gift this is! What a miracle to be alive at this moment in this place.
Walt once hiked beside me but now I do it for both of us. Walt's presence is alive in his absence. I can hear his exclamations of wonder as I reach the summit, I can feel him taking a deep breath of Adirondack air and see his sparkling brown eyes so alive and full of love as he takes in the view from the top. He taught me how to do this and now I breathe in the sweet scents and realize that someone else will be doing this for me when I am gone.
And so the cycle of life continues from one breath to another. Gratitude for this moment in this place.