When I go into the woods, my muse awakens and joins me. She speaks with a soft but confident whisper, “Listen and experience.” I trust her intuition and wisdom so, as I walk along, hugging and talking to my trees, I pay close attention to everything. During this big-loop counterclockwise walk and talk, I have ample time to ponder today’s topsy-turvy world and examine my place in it.

Shaggy’s bark reminds me of how flimsy their story is, and how it seems that the layers should peel off easily – if only one were determined enough to peer underneath, critically examine what’s partially hidden there, and then give a little tug. 

Reggie, a few steps further along on my left, is the wedge – the one that the powers-that-be have tried to drive into communities everywhere. This Red Car Alley cuts through the big loop path – much the way truth slices through lies. Maybe that’s why I walk this path twice. Along this stretch, though, it is important that I keep my eyes wide open so I don’t get poked by the fallen branches overhead – they threaten to jab me regularly.

After the half-way point along Red Car Alley, I greet the greedy Fatso with a knowing nod, and then continue past him up the incline. He is only a short distance below the higher ground at Hill Top Lookout. As I pass the branch that goes off the path to the right, I can look down to the Mud Flats and beyond, towards Enchantment.  

Continuing along the main path of the big loop, I often feel choked up walking past, and remembering special meetings and meditations at Big Rock Rodeo.

Not far beyond that, as I pass the ever-present swamps there on my left, I encounter the sometimes very slippery Muddier Flats where I must be cautious not to lose my balance and get sucked in. But with no real trepidation, and with one step in front of the other, I handily make my way up the small hill.

Harold, a tall stately and proud maple reminds me of Daddy, though he ironically, was a small man – especially in his 71st year, when he died. His fine character, though, was solid, like his tree; I love to hug him closely and hopefully, knowing he has my back.

At the end of this stretch I find that Looky Lefty has recently acquired a landmark pile of rocks with an arrow-shaped rock directing me left. For some reason, I am always reminded of, “Go to jail; go directly to jail; do not pass go; do not collect $200.00.”

Shortly after the turn and up a small rise is my triangular rock creation right beside the path. She is firmly rooted, but sometimes loses her hat or even her head, which I replace with whatever is handy. In the winter, she may don a happy face or a heart, traced into the snow on her chest.

Further along this path, Poke Salad Annie reminds me of the multiple holes in their narrative. She is a dead birch that leans precariously on another rather frail dead trunk, and even another. I’m sure it would take only a simple determined push or an extra strong gust of wind in the right direction to send her toppling, and taking her support team with her.

After another gentle curve to the left, I appreciate how easily and gracefully Yogi performs her moves, bending over and stretching her arms behind her up to the sky as if to entice, beckon in and welcome the passersby. I rarely venture closer.

As I head to and through Rocky Road Turnpike, it is crucial that I stay alert so as to not stumble and tumble.  I cannot let up my guard as I follow the twists and turns leading to Wet-Foot-Shallows. This section is not for the faint of heart, but I forge ahead, happily ignoring the warnings for my health and safety. I refuse to buy into any fear of what may or may not be ahead. Life is to be experienced. All is well and I am safe.

Just past this point, Peter Pi reminds me of the sciences and the research of thousands of courageous scientists who regularly risk everything to tell us the truth – the truth that gives me the confidence to breathe easily and fearlessly.

Meandering on to my beloved Archie, I feel a sense of peace, calm and hope, in spite of the presence of Grim Grinch. I’ve learned that, though he does look mean, he really is quite powerless in the face of the enduring fortitude of my tribe and my guardians. 

Further on in Forevergreen, I gaze up with admiration at Charity, the gorgeous Stripper who stands across the path from a shelter, masterfully built by some industrious hands. Surely this is a sign that I am safe from all future knowns and unknowns in the universe.

The three Buddies keep watch over me as I follow the path up and down and around the bends on my way to Ganesh, the magnificent three-armed, and very huggable red oak. Here I embrace the Spiritual Roundabout that takes me left once again. 

Onward, up and down and around again, I finally make it to the divine vibrations of Drumbo at his Crossroads. Then, because I am driven to do so, I retrace my steps down Red Car Alley, and the Path of Truth. At the top once again, this time I hang a right from Hill Top Lookout down to the Mud Flats below, and on to Enchantment beyond. My muse and I both have lighter hearts as we move along the home stretch out to the street.

In the winter when there is lots of snow, and whenever I feel inspired, I make a family of snow angels along my route. Each one gives me the opportunity to breathe deeply and look up to the heavens for divine guidance. In awe, I admire the treetops while tracing the angels’ wings in the snow. Sometimes I also add hearts and happy faces beside the path. `These too always add to the joy I feel in this enchanted universe. 

This daily high-frequency trek into the forest is my solace and my therapy; it empowers me; it helps me see the agenda and reject it every step of the way. My root chakra is well balanced here and I feel fully grounded and supported. In this environment, I joyfully nourish my mind, body and spirit. I have enough; I know enough; I am enough. I plan to survive and thrive in gratitude for what I have today; I am joyful, confident, calm and fearless.

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