I'm starting to feel restless.
It happens every year - this itchy, jumpy, get-me-outta-here feeling that I just can't seem to shake. I go to sleep thinking about it, and I wake up thinking about it. I daydream about it when I should be concentrating on other things. On the weekends, it's all I want to do. Usually it doesn't happen this early in the year, but apparently this is how 2017 is going to go.
On March 4th, Will and I will celebrate our 11th "Trailaversary." Eleven
years since we set out on our thru-hike attempt of the Appalachian
Trail. You'd think I'd be over the feeling by now. The feeling that I
have to go - get out into the woods, onto the trail - and walk and walk
and walk. But it comes back every single year, usually right around the
time that the spring green starts to pop up. So although it's early, the
trigger is still the same - I spent yesterday afternoon, February 20th,
outside cleaning up our perennial beds and uncovering the beginnings of
new life pushing its way out of the ground. I never get tired of
watching the miracle of plants.
Without really realizing it, I've been having this feeling for a very long time. The last semester of my senior year of college - 13 years ago (gasp!) - I was forced, by my major, to take a public speaking class. Now, there's a reason why I waited until the last semester of my senior year to take that class. I was absolutely dreading it. But it turned out that just about everyone else in the class was dreading it, too, and we had an incredibly good and understanding professor who was patient with us and helped us immensely along the way. Somehow, it actually turned out to be one of my favorite classes that semester.
But I remember doing a presentation called simply, "Get Out." I had a Life is Good shirt that had a tiny picture of a mountain on it with those two words printed under it, and I wore it constantly, including the day that I gave that presentation. I proceeded to make a case for spending time in the woods - how trees and mountains and quiet have the power to relax and calm and rejuvenate any weary soul.
I got an A on that presentation. Probably not because I was particularly good at public speaking, but because I believed in the message so much.
I know that Will feels it, too, because just this past weekend he suggested we go take a hike (not to be confused with, "Hey, why don't you just go take a hike!" which I'm sure he feels like telling me on occasion!).
Um, YES. Sometimes I think we really can read each others minds.
So we packed up the kids and some water bottles and headed to our local state park for a walk to the river through the trees.
It was exactly what we needed. We stopped to throw rocks in the water, we sat and watched a train go by, we jumped up to try and touch a low-hanging branch, we collected walking sticks and smooth stones, we blazed a trail up the side of a hill just for the fun of it. I love being in the woods.
Now, it definitely wasn't the same as hiking on the AT with these views...
But it was pretty good for a Saturday afternoon in central Virginia. I'll take it.
Here's to spending lots more time in the woods in the coming months! Even though I wouldn't be surprised if it snowed in April this year. We have to have winter some time, right?!
Happy Tuesday to you!