A Walk in the Woods


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Weeds rule the world where the wild things grow. Prickle-bushes pose, poised and poisonous, ready to defend their territory. Baby shoots yawn softly and stretch their tender green bodies. Slender spruce stand tall, humble in their needs and majestic in their duty.

Baba kicks out, quick and light, with every step he takes: right, left, right, left. Mama swings her arms round and round. They walk softly, playfully playfight, and pause to tightrope walk across two suspended logs. Mama stops in the middle and bends into Natarajasana. I giggle to myself because they are acting just like me. Then I realize that I am the one who has grown like them.

The beaten trail still wears autumn’s leafy coat; it is old, comfortable, the way I like it. I muse out loud, “I think I’ll start running here tomorrow.” Baba looks over: “Why not today?”

So he flys and I follow, our hearts pulsing into the bare brown Earth. I inhale Mother Nature’s tangy fragrance and let the familiar rhythm guide my body into sweet oblivion. I forget the day, the world, and concentrate on my breath. Baba leaps over logs, once, twice, and runs swift to avoid the fallen debris.

Eventually we tire and return rosy-cheeked to a deep, flat opening in the woods. I stand in the middle, mama on my left, baba on my right. We begin with a breath and flow, over-again, through the gentle movements of tai chi. My heart beats slow but qi moves fast, warming my palms and recharging my spirit.

Our arms fall in finale, and the sky starts crying.


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