I walk my dogs everyday. Most days, two times a day, and some days three times. This usually equates to .3 miles each time. I have always enjoyed walking and find that when I travel, one of my favorite things is to just walk the land, exploring and adventuring, and feeling the energies. I realized that I miss this feeling when at home, but discovered that it is only me limiting my capacity to walk and adventure when I am in NJ. So, I started to walk. Not for any purpose or particular destination, but just to walk. And I am finding infinite wisdom flowing in.
A Week of Walking
Day 1: Rosedale Park
I met a friend who had been walking the land here and we did a great 6.4 mile walk through meadows of flowers and tall grasses. The sun was pouring on us as we strode steadily towards the observatory, where we sat to have a snack. The energy felt expansive and light, reminiscent of my recent trip to Glastonbury, UK. I felt alive again like I had not been since returning from this planetary power place. The energy at home had felt low and flat. Now, I felt tapped back into the grid of the earth. Something inside of me awakened to adventure and to truly living again. Just a mere 20 minutes from home, this was available to me anytime. I came home buzzing with energy, realizing I had to do this again very soon.
Day 2: Rosedale Park
Soon came really soon! I headed back to the same park the next day and my friend was more than happy to walk again. So, we took a different path, and this time followed a wooded trail. This place had a calming and grounding quality. With a feeling of safety and security, we came out of the wooded area to a stable. And as we rounded the stable, a horse came charging up to me. At the gate he turned and bowed his head. And although I had rode horses before, I had never really connected with them or their energy prior. This guy wanted me to connect, and he had a message for me that was heard loud and clear: "claim your natural authority to set your soul free, and have the confidence to jump over any hurdle life puts in front of you." It was a magical moment, for sure. And I knew I would be back again very soon (4 miles walked).
Day 3: Rosedale Park
Okay, yes, I had to come back to the park. I was not going to bother my friend a third day in a row, but, alas, we met again in the park. Truthfully, I believe we are both hooked on just walking and connecting. And today was an interesting walk. We took another trail, and at first delighted in finding two fawn bedding in the soft grass. Deer energy reminds us to be gentle. We smiled and quickly continued on our path. From here on, it seemed that wherever we went, we could not get far enough away from people. The trail we took hug the nearby roadway past houses. We stopped at a local farm stand to purchase some fruit and sat under a tree on the farm having a snack. Cars and people continued to come by, so it was less than peaceful. We decided to walk back to the park, where my friend headed home. I decided to sit by the lake and read or gaze, and was pondering the fact that today's adventure was most definitely about being aware of other people's energy. As I was pondering just how to integrate the magic of nature with others in life, a woman approached me and asked to sit with me. She continued to share with me her woes and I patiently listened. This was not the first time a stranger shared her life story with me, and it would not be the last. I smiled, being reminded that we need to be kind and gentle with each other, for surely everyone is going through their own challenges. I decided not to go back to Rosedale park the next day (3 miles walked).
Day 4: Herrontown Woods
Even though I wanted to continue walking, I felt that after my connection to so many people, I wanted to find a little slice of peace for myself again, and as luck would have it, a former student told me about Herrontown Woods this morning. I headed there to find a beautiful trail through the woods. I only saw one family of three while on the trail. As the trail went on, I found myself wondering if I should be alone in the woods with no cell phone signal. I remembered the post I saw about black bear sitings in the area tripling over last year. Realizing just how alone I was, I recognized the fear that was setting in. Fear of the unknown path or how far I would go. Fear of coming face to face with a predator, or having an accident. I searched for wildlife, and although heard several birds, never saw a single thing on the path. Well, I did consciously seek to be alone today, didn't I? So, after maybe a mile, I turned back. The ghostly abandoned cottage and house with many chairs outside left me with a deeper creepy feeling - this time of not being alone! So I headed to the Botanical Arts Garden, where a lovely gentleman sat in a shack. He told me that they were building an interactive community garden where anyone could come and build forts, fairy gardens, or whatever floated his/her fancy. I was thrilled to have met him on my way out of the woods. I needed that final meeting to give me the wisdom of today's walk - building new communities and finding true families. The old ways of living in towns and cities feel expired, and yet being alone is not the answer either. The balance is to connect in the right ways, and the future is in creating communities based on living harmoniously with the earth. I'm in! (1.5 miles walked).
Day 5: Herrontown Woods
My brother-in-law was staying with us and it was a the holiday weekend. I asked my husband to join me on the walk, and the three of us headed back to Herrontown Woods. Today with my family we did the entire red loop, and arrived back 1.5 miles later. Some of the places of rocks and roots were challenging for my brother-in-law, but he wanted to continue on. I led the way while my husband helped his brother. The role-reversals were not lost on me. Mother Earth's magic was at hand again. My husband's natural tendencies to charge ahead without a thought of anyone else came up, as did my continued need to make sure everyone else is okay. The more we walked, the more ease in our new roles we walked with. Two animal totems showed up today: first my husband found a snake-skin, and then I a large earth-worm. Serpent energy helps us reveal our inner world, and our stamina. It protects but also reminds us to shed our old skin. Next, a woodpecker peeked his head up. First I heard him, and then I saw him. Before we left the woods, another woodpecker sounded off his drumming in the woods, reminding us of opportunity knocking and adapting to life's rhythms. I found these both perfect symbolic wisdom pieces to confirm the day's walk. This walking thing is surely proving to be quite more interesting than I ever imagined.
Day 6: Loveless Nature Preserve
Although the name sounds terrible, I decided to stop because I could not find the trolly trail my app told me was in the area. A quick search revealed this to be an easy walk through a wooded nature preserve of about 1.7 miles, and I felt confident to go it alone today. I saw a couple up ahead of me, but as soon as they rounded a bend, I was alone. Surrounded by pine and other native trees, I walked slowly through the area, completely at ease. I came upon an ancient tree, who's weariness appeared as a large chunk broken off and on the ground. I felt how tired she was of holding the energy there for so long. And although a big part of her remained, the forlorn future was to see more of her fall down. As I walked further, I noticed that all of the largest, oldest trees in the preserve all had either half or fully fallen down. Some of them had been caught by another tree and stood half-propped up, imminently ready to collapse once enough rot set in. I turned down a gravel path and watched more of these tree beings collapsing, as I realized the area was lined with high tension wires and poles on each side. At the end where a development sat, I turned and walked back. As I came around through the woods I noticed a large buck sitting back in the densely wooded area. I sat down with him for a bit, reminding myself to be gentle and kind - reminding myself that everyone on the planet need be gentle and kind. And then a knowing that others are going to have to stand up and hold the space that the ancient tree beings once had. More people have to advocate for the earth. One the way out, I climbed through an ancient tree that had fallen across the path. I felt his sadness as I wondered just how long he had been there - was anyone tending to this preserve? Was anyone tending to the earth? How could I be of more serve to the land? What will my role be moving forward?\
Day 7: Rest
I awoke to rain. It has been so dry lately and we definitely needed the rain. My intention was to walk again today, but alas, I cannot even walk the dogs. So once again, Mother Natures's wisdom prevails. Everyone has to rest. everyone needs a day to recoup. Today is my day. So I decided to write this blog and begin to chat more about the wisdom of the earth...and more.
I leave you with some thoughts to ponder, meditate, journal, reflect:
- How can I be of service to the earth?
- How can I reduce my footprint?
- Am I connected to the earth? Do I feel grounded?
- Do I have to have a plan all the time? Can I be spontaneous?
- Do I trust other people? Can we truly work together?
- Have I found my true family?
- How can we live more harmoniously with Mother Earth