forest

Below my feet

Taken on the magical trail to Rainbow Falls in North Carolina.

Taken on the magical trail to Rainbow Falls in North Carolina.

I have always been magnetically pulled to the forest and the mountains, drawn in to their mystery, their intrigue, their strength, their magic.

I have forever been comforted by the trees, standing tall and holding out their arms, protecting me from the harsh realities of life.

As I walk down the forest paths, I hear the familiar sound of my feet hitting the ground, crunching leaves, kicking rocks and snapping twigs. It reminds me once again to be present and grounded – heart beating, lungs breathing, moving forward.

The further I get from myself, the more I need the forest to hold me up. I need it to ground me. But mostly, I need it to remind me that I am equally as overwhelmingly important and humbly insignificant as each tree, each leaf, each twig on the ground below my feet.

Into the woods

forest

I grew up with a forest for my back yard. Not a national park, but woods so deep they never seemed to end. I would get lost back there for hours, wandering and wondering about things that only I knew about in my own head.  I would lose time – examining leaves, tree bark and chasing fireflies as I quickly forgot about time and how I measured up in a world that seemed to be so limiting for me...even then.  I would stay out there until I was called back for dinner or bedtime, weary and drunk from the air that seemed so fresh and pure.  So it's no wonder that even today,  I still feel most at home in the woods.

There is a sense of embracing that envelopes my soul when I stand amongst the trees still, hearing the crunching and snapping of the twigs and leaves below my feet. I don't worry about who I will encounter or what I may come across. I feel supported - as though there is nothing to worry about but me, the breath in my lungs and the muscles in my body. I feel loved and protected. I feel safe....and understood.

I don't live near much of a forest these days. So every chance I get to be amongst the comfort of the tall trees and the quiet rustle of the ground covering is like some form of unpaid therapy to me. We travel far and wide so I can breathe in the earthiness of forest floors as I my every step seems to kick up another smell as I leave behind another worry, another issue, another problem. And nobody seems to mind as I stop to catch my breath as we climb higher and further away from every little thing that was tying me up in the first place.

And I just fit right back in - comfortably into this world without boundaries or borders to tell me what I have done wrong or right. I fit right back into to home.

 

Luck

forest clover

I don't believe much in luck. Luck leaves your fate to chance and silly superstitions laden in black cats, 4 leaf clovers and pots of gold at the end of rainbows. You are not in control of luck. It's in control of you. It chooses when and where and undermines your confidence and belief in yourself. If you believe in luck, you believe in giving your power away.

I do believe in gratitude and hard work. I know that the power of confidence and simply believing in yourself can take you to places you could never dream of and to places luck only dreams of.

You are in control of your very own destiny. You have the choice to put yourself where you choose by telling yourself a story luck doesn't understand. You have the power to make your life happen the way you see it - without the help of some random chance that a patch of clover can deliver.

I believe in the combined power of hard work and dreams. Because that is where our greatness lies.

That is where our power is. Hiding underneath it all, blocked by luck.

Giants

muir woods

It is humbling...the presence of these trees. To stand in the glory of a giant Redwood tree is to be in awe of life as I know it. Their ripened age, their sheer size, the history they have seen.... It's an incredible experience. Once that I knew on my recent trip to the West Coast I must experience again in my lifetime.

Deep in the forest there is such a silence. Yet through the quiet stillness, you feel the energy. Water runs, breezes blow, birds busily build their nests, and creatures crawl swiftly across the forest floor in search of their next meal or their next home.

And yet, there they are - these grand trees. These Redwoods. The giants of our living world. There they stand - still and stoic amongst the bustle of life all around then. There they stand, supporting us all in their quiet stillness while they provide, shelter, nourish, and nurture - never asking for a thing in return.

To me, this is where I feel alive and protected. This is where I feel safe and still. These giants can't fail me. They can only protect. I know this in my heart.

And as I walk out of the forest, I am sure I can hear their gentle voices through the breezy afternoon whispering sweet nothings in my ear.

Forest and trees.

Taken for a client at Lake Greenwood, SC.

Taken for a client at Lake Greenwood, SC.

Sometimes I feel like I can finally see the clearing in the forest. The trees spread out, and the edge of the heavy, dark woods starts to disappear.

Then, like a blindfolded hostage, I am led back to the woods - to a new place - and left standing there trying to find my way back to the edge once again.