Burying the past and starting out fresh

 It has been done.  The burial.  The new awakening.  As I traveled down the path in the woods, I had journeyed on so many times before, everything seemed new.  I hadn’t ventured into the woods since this past fall.  When the leaves and foliage of my old friends acted like a blanket;  covering everything within it’s infrastructure, marking only the path to be traveled.


On my journey today, the forest seemed open.  Clear.  The ground was blanketed by a cushion of leaves, dusted by week old snow.  The trees danced differently today.  A kind of slow dance, where I could clearly see trunks twisting around each other; holding tight...warming each other for lack of bark and lack of exterior flair. 


My dogs remembered the way.  Running ahead on the path; stopping occasionally to keep me in their sight.  I chose to walk slowly today.  Look at the naked forest in all her glory.  See the beauty of each heavenly body, without it’s green and orange clothing.  I saw peace around me.  I felt peace within me. 


I chose an area of pine in which to cast the wooden heart, carved for me by the man who chose to leave.  It had been months since I'd been able to even look at this wooden symbol of what he called love.  About one third of the way into my jungle.  I pressed the wood to my lips and left a moist mark upon it.  I stated his name, said goodbye and threw it up beyond my standing point.  My shepherd, who usually retrieves anything I throw, stood with her tongue hanging out and puffs of frozen carbon dioxide swirling around her head, watching me as I catapaulted the burl.  It hit a branch on its way, which snapped off of the tree.  It landed, I believe in some soft needles.  A perfect burial site. 


I stood there for a quiet second...glancing up the continuing path.  My dogs stood motionless, waiting for my first movement.  “Let’s go pups”, I proclaimed to them.  “Time to start a new walk in life.”  The three of us continued on the familiar path through the rest of the woods.  I was comforted by the awareness that I was in a well-known place.  However, I saw things today that I had  never noticed before on my walks.  Small buildings along the border of the forest.  Roads that had been hidden beneath foliage covered hills.  The small rivers and natural ponds now frozen with a layer of ice. 


As we approached my favorite path; strewn with sky reaching pines that have rustic colored trunks, we stumbled into a young woman.  She was covered with tiny burrs and she was unsuccessfully attempting to brush them away.  Each swipe of her glove only embedded them further into her scarf, pants and jacket.  “That’s what I get for hugging a tree”, she laughed.  I smiled and walked on.  It wasn’t until I reached my car that it hit me.  We will love many things in our life.  Many people.  Each time we meet someone, they will rub off on us in some way.  Their effect on us may become deeply engrained within our being or they will be a passing fancy, easily forgotten about.  That’s what we “get” for taking a chance.  For being willing to hug the proverbial tree.  We may get stuck with burrs.  We may find it difficult to remove them.  However, if you can’t be willing to take the chance...why stand in the forest in the first place?  I promise I will not stop walking down this path.  I won’t stop hugging the trees.  I will welcome the burrs with the same enthusiasm as I welcome the other gifts the tree has to offer.   Who knows....?  I may start producing some burrs of my own. 

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