There is a moment when I feel the forest in my body. When I step out of the car at the trailhead, the change is palpable. The quiet is immense. My soul breathes a sigh of relief.
It’s a different kind of communication, between my heart and the forest. It’s one of the senses. Hearing the quiet between the sounds of the birds twittering and my boots along the path. Feeling a gentle breeze against my skin, or the cool wet of misty rain, or the warmth of sunshine. Smelling the new growth of the earth or scent of spring blooms. And seeing, my primary sense, is enhanced. Seeing what is and what could be, through my camera’s lens. Feeling the abundance of having so much to photograph I can leave most of it alone, and only stop for what truly moves me.
As I sit here writing this I’m struck by the contrast in sound the most. It’s early morning and I’m the only one awake, but the house is not quiet. There is the ticking of the clock. The faint high-pitch whine of the computer. The whir of the refrigerator. The spit of sprinklers turning on in the yard. Trucks rumbling along the nearby street.
Maybe that’s why my soul breathes such a sigh of relief at the trailhead. I must need the quiet of the forest. Stilling the sounds of everyday life for just a little while, so I can hear my true thoughts and desires well up from deep within.
Shhh… What do you hear?