Sunday, May 24, 2009

Walk, Talk and Be

It had been some years since I truly went hiking across a terrain with organized, designated trails, one of the consequences of spending so much time living in Florida where the best hiking is through thick sand on the way down to the shoreline. Now that I have returned to the section of the country where I attended graduate school, I again have access to hills and mountains and lots of wooded places in general.

On Saturday, my family and I made our way through a series of small trails stretching across the property of Percy Warner Park outside of Nashville. The partly overcast weather provided the perfect mixture of warmth with a regular breeze. We saw massive trees impossible to date, smooth layers of rock and,at a small pond, quite a few baby frogs that fascinated my children.

After a while the hike consumes you and you forget most of your other responsibilities in this world. Lost in nature, you become found in yourself and those with you. The present moment becomes alive with the sacred and things grow rather simple.

When we drove to the retail temple of the Cool Springs district later that same day, the contrast was jarring. Things were rather complicated and fast-paced and distracting. It was much easier to feel lost in general amid the rampant consumerism, the parking lots of stressed-out drivers perhaps the best epitome of this prosaic norm.

I plan to carve out many more opportunities along these awesome stretches of earth where the only agenda is to walk, talk and be. The common is made holy just a few miles from the epicenters of unintentional living, sacred ground so nearby for those who dare to wander.


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