It's been raining all night. Rain sounds different on the sea. The seabirds are quieter, and there are no crows on the roof. I spent an hour in a forest yesterday and I should have spent longer. Soft, pine needle ground underfoot makes you feel as if you could just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Occasionally you look up and see the magnificence of it all; the sun glinting at you from bending the trees, a patch of blue sky, a trapped bird beneath the canopy, the outline of pine cones, the enlightened granite where patches of grass and sorrel grow. I want to be alone in the woods for a long, long time. It's a place to escape and a place to release, to breathe out, to get rid of the anger that builds when one doesn't do enough, what? yoga? I can feel it inside but it's not always there. Usually there is beneficence. (I had been told earlier to shut up and that I talked too much, not by my mother I hasten to add, and I am sure that has its effect. Oddly, talking doesn't come that easy. I often think I am rude for not talking more, like the guests who come into your kitchen and chat so easily as you slice onions, so that you feel like a horrible host for not being more, well, charming.)
The paths interlink and intersect and because the island is small you do not fear getting lost, so you meander down one or another, foot by foot, on the soft ground. An occasional illuminated log beckons, so you sit for a while and think of old friends and the things we hold onto. And the friends we have lost along the way, and why, and how this makes us sad. And every day we look for solutions.
Sometimes you think of trauma and why we behave as we do and what makes us mean. I am still spiky. I don't want to be but I am. I am spiky and suspicious and demanding of fierce loyalty.
Sometimes I pray. On my knees, as Mary Karr suggests. ("To skeptics I say, Just try it. Pray every day for thirty days. See if your life gets better. If it doesn't, tell me I'm an asshole.") Perhaps the forest is the right place to pray. Have your tried?