In search of a couple of my final specimens, I went for a ramble in the woods today. I was trespassing in someone’s pasture, but I crawled under that fence confident that if I got caught I had an even chance of talking myself out of any serious trouble. I found my specimens, this Box Elder being one of them, but that became almost beside the point. It’s been a good while since I went for such a ramble, and it did my heart so much good. Thank you to the folks who own the pasture behind the cemetery for your anonymous donation to my well being! I promise that I took nothing other than a few leaves and left nothing but footprints.
As I think about it, there is nothing that connects me to my childhood more than an aimless, carefree walk in the woods. I can't quite conjure up the same quality of freedom and limitless possibilities, but I can get close. It was good to be reminded today of what a wellspring of joy there is in just being outside, having nothing pressing to do, and simply breathing fresh air in the sunshine. It is also serendipitous, in this little botany adventure of mine, that I just began reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s, The Signature of All Things. I am not a great explorer charting the bounty of Mother Nature in faraway lands, but I am charting my own Terra Firma, and in the process, reconnecting with truths at the core of who I am. My walk and my new read have both reminded me of that.