when asking myself the question, "would i, should i, could i go to the woods?" the answer is yes. always yes. there's something primal in the forest that speaks to my inner soul. the cycle of birth, death, decay and rebirth is apparent in every season. each of my senses awakens and feasts.
my almost-40 year old son asked me to accompany him to the woods last sunday. he said, "let's just go poke around." we were lured by the possibility of finding morels but it was very dry and we repeatedly told each other we were just a bit too early, maybe next sunday after it rains and the nights are warmer.
there was a quiet so quiet that you could hear the leaves rustle in the gentle breeze.
a lone woodpecker's call brought back memories of Woody Woodpecker in the living room with my siblings long, long ago.
chunky, peeling vines spiraling through trees reminded me of playing Tarzan in the big woods as a child.
matt found two fossils in the stream bed and i pocketed a piece of misty blue "sea" glass.
stumbling on the first may apples, the early spring beauties and the tiniest of toadstools was delightful.
but my favorite thing was finding the little boy still alive and well in my grown son. just as he did when he was 7, 9 and 11, matt noticed (and identified) everything -- the dying bark on an ash tree, the woodpecker holes in a fallen log, the pheasant tail shelf mushrooms. his intellect and knowledge never cease to amaze me. when he peered up into the trees to find the noisy woodpecker, i saw the 7 year-old matt with binoculars around his neck. as he placed a fossil in his medicine bag i remembered the magpie matt who hunted/gathered bones in the woods as a child. oh, how i cherish those bittersweet glimpses of my first-born child.
this week i upped my walking game to an hour plus and i pulled out the five pound weights with a goal of 10-15 minutes a day. getting older and becoming more feeble is somewhat inevitable. but, i am determined to have many more years of getting out into the woods. my fervent wish is to still be able to say yes, always yes, when matt says let's just go poke around in the woods. at 70, at 75, at 80 years of age.
my other fervent wish is that when i am those ages, my kids will still see the younger me in my eyes and zest for living.