(This is for the Slice of Life challenge, hosted by Two Writing Teachers. We write on Tuesdays about the small moments in the larger perspective … or is that the larger perspective in the smaller moments? You write, too.)
Yesterday, due to circumstances, I found myself hiking an unknown path all alone (usually when I hike, my wife and/or sons are with me). The trail in this conservation area was well-maintained by some Eagle Scout, apparently, and there was no one else around. Nobody at all.
I stepped forward at a leisurely pace, wary of the bugs (ticks!) in this rainy season, and soon was lost in thought as the path wound around what the maps called a pond but which was clearly a large lake. The high water levels cut off some connected trails, leading me to interesting dead ends and views of the water, before I was forced to circle back and continue on an alternative route.
The only distraction was noise from a nearby highway. But birds out-whistled cars at points, and the farther I went in, the farther away I was from the noise pollution. I took a chance on an unmarked path at one point, and felt a little lost, but used the water as my navigation point, and eventually circled back to known terrain.
Why am I writing this? Quiet moments may not have a lot of drama, but they force you to notice the world. I could also easily dig deeper into what I just wrote — on the surface, about a solo hike — and find metaphorical points with which to climb. But I won’t. I’ll just leave it as a hike in the woods by a lake. The perfect kind of summer Slice of Life, I think.
Peace (in the terrain),
I love walking alone. I not only pay attention to the world but I also allow myself to explore what is rattling around in my head. I find bits of poetry, the best lesson ideas, and humorous observations about what I see hanging out in my head. It sounds like a lovely hike.
Meandering solo hikes are pretty awesome and I’m glad you shared yours. I also appreciate your choice in letting it stand alone in its own quiet glory. Wishing you many other peaceful hiking moments this summer, alone and with family.
Yes, a perfect kind of summer slice of life! I love how the high water level has changed the hiking trails for a time. I think that meeting the lake again at a dead end would be a delightful serendipity.
Oh the quiet. Something to savor.
I hope everyone has that meandering experience, orienting by the water, exploring a bit of side-paths. You don’t need to get all metaphorical, I agree.
Thanks for taking me along and for yet another reminder about the importance of staying in the moment. (That’s kind of what my slice is about, too!)
This slice is perfect and doesn’t need to do any extra lifting. What you describe sounds familiar and relatable. I know how much I enjoy finding myself alone on a path in the woods, especially when the birds out-whistle the sound of the cars.
Beautiful! I can’t even imagine all the water as all our watery spaces are so dry right now.
I love the images of quiet that dance in my mind as I listen to your words (I can hear them through my eyes) and the sounds along your hike.
A perfect slice of life and summer.
Thanks for reminding me that we need to just write about our moments. Love this post and all you experienced without any metaphors!
what a peaceful walk you had, Kevin. It is one filled with decisions about pathways You were able to navigate your way around and enjoy moments of just “being”. There are always other times to find those metaphors of life. Enjoy the summer.
Thanks for leaving it at that. It was more than enough.