Peace in the Woods

Photo by Nejc Kou0161ir on Pexels.com

When Hubs and I bought a new house in 2019, we were practical about what we were buying. There are some shallow woods behind the house and then a yard out to the side of the house. The woods lead up to a heavily trafficked road, so we were thankful they could act as a divider for our kids, keeping them away from the busy street.

“Look at all the grass!” we said.

“This will be good for soccer balls and flag football!” we said.

But we’d left behind a creek and a larger wood that felt like a trove for curiosities and creative play.

Enter: Mom, woods lover.

The woods I called a “natural barrier” have been calling to me. I love walking through a space covered in a chaos of sticks, branches, messy leaves and random wildlife growing as it pleases. Thanks to a dear friend, I relish in photographing moss and lichens and unusual fungi. Or reading poetry about nature. Wordsworth comes to mind, as he writes,

Once again
Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs,
Which on a wild and secluded scene impress
Thoughts of more deep seclusion; and connect
The landscape with the quiet of the sky.
The day is come when I again repose
Here, under this dark sycamore, and view These plots of cottage-ground, these orchard-tufts,
Which, at this season, with their unripe fruits,
Among the woods and copses lose themselves,
Nor, with their green and simple hue, disturb
The wild green landscape.

William Wordsworth, Lines Written a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey

Some days get too hectic with cleaning, cooking, chores, and the general responsibilities that pop up. We can’t always get a hike in, or ever a trip to the woodsy playground I think I appreciate more than the children so.

And so, the woods have continued to call.

I couldn’t help myself. I grabbed a few rakes, one especially heavy duty one, and a good pair of my clippers. And I started hacking. I carved out a path and started to line it with the logs that are light enough for me to carry on my own. Other logs I rolled slowly into place.

The kids eat pretzels and play while I haul my butt around, collecting thorns and dirt in my socks like precious talisman.

Now the kids call this space their “secret garden.” It’s nothing more than a quiet spot in the woods where I’ve raked and lined the edges with log rounds from a walnut tree we cut down.

But it is removed from other spaces. It is quiet. And beautiful. And full of possibilities.

What has brought you peace this week? Share your peace!