I miss hiking tremendously. Where I live my winters are mild, my summers like a furnace. All winter and spring I hike or mountain bike every day. I love to be in nature and I love to move on trails looking at the hills and the old oaks. The tall grass turns from green to straw yellow. The coyotes look rangier and thirstier and the snakes start to interfere with the carefree movement of the hiker who now avoids that narrow path lined with foot-high grass. That stick on the trail or that pile of horse manure over there? Look again– it has a rattle on its tail.
I prefer not waking up at 6 AM to beat the heat and I’m no fan of rattlesnakes, so I must bide my time waiting for the weather to cool so I can hit the trails once again.
I love hills and folded rows of land nestled in our valley. Seismic movements created this rippled landscape. I imagine the power of the seismic energy when I see these crumpled mounds of earth in the trails. It is clear a tremendous pressure has been quietly at work here, and looming is a big jolt one day too. The hills are innocently waiting to be disrupted again. They don’t anticipate becoming taller or more crumpled so they have trees of oak on them, shrubs, and waving grass. Birds innocently hop in and out of the shrubs and the coyotes stand watching on the hilltops, hoping to get a rabbit or squirrel. The path is muddy from rain a week ago in the shady spots, and the sunny spots show dried horse hoof prints, mountain bike tire prints, and the sure proof that dogs have gone by, not to mention deer and owls too. The wind rushes through the canyons and my ears are overwhelmed so I walk with my hands on my ears when that happens. It is a tease because I know around the bend it will stop, the sun will be out, and the breeze will be quiet again. On the path I feel calm.
Pretty soon the weather will get cool. It is the cycle of life. Here we only have two seasons, hot and cool. In the northeast the four seasons are distinct. Each is a transition to the next. I envy those who enjoy the fall leaves and snow because these are beautiful parts of the seasons I don’t experience here. But I suppose I’d get sick of freezing every winter too just like I get sick of the heat.
In the seasons we get a new beginning, a new ending, on and on. The weather tells me to bid farewell to swimming. The ocean is too cold unless I have a wetsuit on. It’s going to be a new trip around the sun.
I love nature.
In nature I am teamed up with God, in a way.
I mean, I look around. I see beauty all around me, and I feel part of it. The illness is put aside because I see perfection in the really lovely sights.
Nature isn’t neat or orderly. The grass is waving this way or that. The branches are crooked and gray and gnarled. The path is lopsided from rivers of rain and erosion. The plants grow in random places. I see no pattern, unlike a landscaped lawn.
I fit in so well. I am so at home in the messy beauty of nature. I relate to it. I see the system is messy, but it works and it is WOW. Not to be sort of simplifying it, but I see my illness this way. It’s not pretty. It is messy. It has erosion and rivers of mud too. Ha ha.
But it is part of nature in the same way.
I am not a mistake, nor a sorry state of messy neurons. I accept my messy neurological system because it has given me a way of seeing life. I fit in with the path in the woods.