I called in to work on Tuesday. Judge me if you want, but I think you do the same sometimes. I needed a day in the woods near the creek. I had to be away from ringing telephones. Needed to see those two trees that were struck by lightning at just the right point so as to cause a near-fatal split. They won’t ever get to grow up straight and true, but they’re leaning over the path and provide a moment’s shade for walkers and bikers.
The Coralville Mormon Trek path is wide. Grass and gravel adorn either side of the pavement. You can walk the dogs or push a stroller or ride a bike without encroaching on others. It’s right next to the Hayden Fry complex. Parking is free and convenient. We owe it to ourselves on days like today to just get out and be in the sun while it sits so high and casts such a warm light during these few short months. We must enjoy every sunlit moment. For, in the end, the Starks are always right. “Winter is coming.”
I can find a little spot in the grass, lay on a towel and just get some sun. I can walk a few paces into the woods and watch the leaves in the wind. I’m alone in these woods, save the bugs, birds, and chipmunks. We owe it to ourselves to take days like this. To look through the foliage and across the pond, through the marshes. For it’s in our nature to be with nature. We’re not made for these cubicles, these gray walls desks. We’re creatures born of the sun.
In my travels, I’ve considered myself lucky to watch a Daytona Beach sunrise in the same week as an Escondido sunset. Today, it’s just me and the woods of Coralville. Today I enjoy blue jays and cardinals singing and flitting about. I enjoy a path without a destination. I can change course when I choose. This place requires nothing of me, but gives me the oxygen in my lungs and the tranquility of solitude. There’s no one else on the trail today. No bikes, no strollers, just me and a notebook and the birds and the bugs. If you’re in the area and you feel like taking a walk, I’m happy to join you.
Image credit: Image by author.