A town over from where I live, there’s this little conservation area. Nothing to it really, just a few trails with lots of trees…and grass….and wild flowers. It’s the only place around here that allows you to feel somewhat secluded from the roaring highway. Even then, after walking a few of the trails you can still see/hear the highway in certain areas. It’s no Estes Park, that’s for sure.
I’ve been coming here since I can remember. There’s nothing like hearing the Earth and only the Earth. It’s better than any medicine or any doctors visit. After spending some time surrounded by trees, and weeds, and bugs, and the sun, you feel..better. You feel: healthier, more stable, more level headed, after all, it is a breath of fresh air.
On this particular day, there was nothing special about it. Just another day of walking the trails and spending time soaking up the green around us. We picked a trail we hadn’t walked before. No reason, just some new scenery. It was a very, very, hot, muggy day. After walking down the shaded trail for just a few minutes, sweat was already forming a spot on the small of my back. Eventually we hit a fork in the road. The right side looked like the light at the end of the tunnel. An obvious opening to a meadow. If we kept going straight we would be following the path of everyone else, so of course we took the path less traveled.
We walked on, hitting the medium length, grassy area. There was a huge piece of uncut grass and around that, the grass had been mowed, but some time ago. The area that had not been cut was like a miniature jungle filled with weeds, and wild flowers, and bugs, and tall grass that was taller than me. Following the meadow, out of nowhere, a deer darts out from the tall patch of grass. It was so close you could hear its hooves darting away. I knew that there could be another deer not too far behind, so we waited. Sure enough, I spot a second deer in the grass, but it sees us as well. It turns into a sort of stand off… will it go…or will it wait until we leave? It finally gets the courage to dart in front of us, but right behind it is a baby! They both trot off after the first deer. We wait a little longer, just in case there are more. Then, one last baby deer comes running out of the grass. The family makes it to the other side of the trail safe and sound.
Knowing the meadow would lead us nowhere, we go back to the original trail. Onward and onward we go, not knowing exactly where the trail will end or loop back around to. Just like when I was little, I’m still observant and amazed at all the natural habitats around me. We found silk worms and kept hearing a creaking noise. I thought it was just another animal. The closer we walked the louder the creaking became. It sounded like an old wooden door, opening and slamming shut. Eventually, we were right where the noise was coming from…no animals. The wind came waving by, and there the noise was again; it was high up in the sky. I see it, two trees leaned up against one another. The creaky sound was only made by two, tall, trees being rubbed up against each other.
A little further in and we see butterflies. This particular butterfly starts to follow us. I try to catch it, but no such luck. Instead, he lands on me all by himself. I thought for sure this moment was transient. He flied around us for ever and we decided to take him back to the meadow with all the wild flowers. This butterfly literally stayed on us all the way back to the meadow. We placed him on a little flower and he seemed thrilled with all the flowers he had to choose from. He had tons of other butterfly friends to fly with too.
Nature had rewarded us that day with more than we could ask for. Nothing special but the natural wonders of the world without cars and homes. Just a place where the trees out number the humans for once. It was nice and much needed. What do you do to get in touch with nature? Share your destinations in the comments!