Thursday, July 29, 2010

If You Go Down to the Woods Today, You're in For a Big Surprise...

Last night was simply awful. I sat next to my friend and refused to drink and be merry. I walked with my husband in the cool of the eve and stubbornly resisted his attempts to make me happy. And then I went to bed and thought about how I could win the battle against my emotions. Nothing. So I went to sleep.

And woke up this morning with a stomach bug. The kind that requires you to double up thanks to cramping in your stomach. The kind that scares you to eat food because you might instantly upchuck. I'm going to say I have a weak immune system due to stress right now.

And then I'm going to use that as an excuse to run away. If I could run away, if I did not have a work schedule at all, and no people to worry about, I would go to a forest. I'd spend my day attacking trees with their own branches. I would scream, because no one could hear me. I might run, dodging low branches and feeling the rough ground beneath my bare feet. I would climb into a lofty pine and let the needles poke me on the way up, breaking them in two so I could smell the fresh pine scent.

And I would let myself agonize in the pain that I feel. Not worry about how my grief would affect anyone else. No pushing the thoughts aside and distracting myself with mundane work. No. I would ache in every muscle and savor the sadness. Mourn the loss that I have undergone. After all, it's as if loved ones have died.

If I could run away... I would. And the only thing keeping me here right now is everything. Somehow I want to excuse myself for a little break, and take a walk in the woods. I want to escape my reality.

In the woods, I find myself. For Candy Man, his place is beside a stream, but mine has always been the trees. When I was younger I had a place for only me, a place of peace, deep in the heart of the Tennessee mountains. The sense I get in the woods is one of mystery, of wonder, and of inexplicable peace. I see the towering trees and I am not afraid. I hear the whistle of birds calling and the rustle of ground squirrels and all the troubles flee my mind. A deep breath of the crisp, fresh air renews my strength.

Damn it, I so want a woods right now.