Hiking in the woods becomes something more when we share another’s perspective…I love to wander “alone” in the woods, but that joy is multiplied as I observe my companion’s explorations. We are blessed to live in central Virginia where one need not go far to find a quiet mountain trail to explore. This morning on Mount Jefferson, O-Hill to the locals, the yellow and orange foliage illuminated the forest as we hiked through a rising tide of leaves upon the trail. Charlottesville, Virginia.
Where does your trail lead? Where does it begin? What does it look like and how will you know when you have found it? Sometimes it begins as a simple hole in the forest canopy. A slight perceptual difference in the space between branches, signaling the beginning of an adventure or the way home. Stepping through that portal is a moment of transcendence; we leave our modern problems behind and temporarily become a part of the forest…an unchanging world where we are free to simply be.
Glimpsing through a hole in the forest, we are blessed with a view of the piedmont that reveals the rolling nature of our little mountains and the colorful patchwork of the many varied species of trees adorned with their fall foliage. The Saunders-Monticello Trail winds through farms and forest at the foot of Monticello, a wonderful network of small wooded trails and great open spaces. Charlottesville, Virginia.
The train brought the people to Crozet. Though the fate of trains shifted over the years, the people remained and the community continues to grow and thrive. It’s a beautiful place to live, nestled at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, close to everything but seemingly a world away. The train tracks roll through orchards, vineyards, mountains, and valleys…continually directing our attention into the heart of the community.
She wanted to go for a hike, I told her we would chase birds…Waterdogs paddling in boats, chasing Geese as they run on water…a little irony in good exercise.
The early days of autumn in the hollow can be likened to the smell of smoke on the wind in advance of a brilliant red sunset…just a hint of the smells and the avalanche of colors to follow. Crozet, Virginia.
Working to get started along the trail, sniffing each rock and blade of grass, my friend seems unmotivated to move deeper into the woods…Pausing to examine the beautiful green shade being cast upon a Beech trunk by a juvenile strand of ivy, my companion, no doubt, wonders whether I will get motivated to move deeper into the woods. The details of the forest are a world unto themselves. Crozet, Virginia.
A quiet spot to picnic by the side of the road as the tide of leaves slowly rises to meet the river banks. Along the Moorman’s River, Sugar Hollow, Crozet, Virginia.
Do we stop to contemplate the chasm or the summit…Though the journey is difficult and the path is narrow, our concerns are not about what we wish to achieve, instead they are what we wish to avoid…The way to our goal is the line that divides the climb from the fall. Angel’s Landing, Zion National Park, Utah.
We walk a narrow path that drops away into the canyon as though tightrope walking across the abyss…maintaining balance and sense of direction, driving forward, thinking of the summit, we effortlessly make our way, never thinking of the canyon floor below. The trail to Angel’s Landing as seen from the summit. Zion National Park, Utah.
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