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Rambling Thoughts from a Snowy Trail

“A walk in nature walks the soul back home.” - Mary Davis

After a busy work week, the call of the outdoors is generally expected and unrelenting, a persistent pull that urges me to venture out and reconnect. Giving in to that call, it wasn't surprising that I found myself wandering down the Spring Creek Trail yesterday afternoon and like always, it was time well spent. We've received snow early this year, much earlier than I recall from past years and as a result, the trail was lightly covered and pristine save for the late falling and stubborn autumn leaves that appeared reluctant to separate from their moorings and descend to earth.

The transition of the seasons is always fascinating to me with fall to winter being the most dramatic and beautiful. The last of the brilliant autumn colours have not yet bled back into the soil before a blanket of white settles in, covering everything with its serenity. It feels calm, unrushed, peaceful, like a rare but luxurious afternoon nap.

Under the fading afternoon light, the monochromatic textures of tree bark and snow create reflections on the not yet frozen creek, brilliant shadows of branches stretching to grasp the final warmth of the season.

My mind turns to poetry, something I haven’t written in some time but feel inspired to when surrounded by this beauty and the vibrancy of natural order, of the restful season, of the trees and the squirrels preparing to slumber and of the muffled sound of my boots leaving their temporary mark on the trail.

One of my favourite poems has to be this well known one:

THE ROAD NOT TAKEN by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Those final words get me every time. It’s like they speak to me personally and I get it, I really do, right to my core.

Stella looks to me like she senses my awareness, my shift as it were. She gets it too, of that I’m certain. I need to spend more time out here, away from the breaking news that on a daily basis seems less than newsworthy, away from the unimportant, away from the noise. The sky and the trees offer perspective, the wisdom of the ages and the peace that only comes from the quiet and connection that lives here.

With the winter season just starting, I know the opportunities to return will be plentiful and I continue, feeling grateful.

#Hamilton #nature #hiking #outdoors #Dundas #Ontario #winter #poetry

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