I walk to keep my back feeling better, to shake off some of the despair of the pandemic, and to plan what to write when not in front of my screen with the blank whiteness telling me I’m empty when I’m not. This morning I walked in the sunny chill.
As I crested a wooded hill on the road, I heard what sounded like rain in the woods. Rain? The sky, visible through the bare tree trunks and branches, was endlessly clear. Yet, I heard slow, arrhythmic taps all around me in the low mounds of crispy and curled leaves, each with a thin coat of frost.
I stopped and watched. Eventually, I noticed water falling. Not rain from the far away sky, but frostmelt dripping down from the nearby tree branches as they warmed in the sun.
What stays with me is a moment of feeling enveloped by the woods. The small mystery made my thinking stop, made me look. I heard the woods surround me as drops fell slowly behind me, to the side, and before me. I felt the sun warm my skin just as it warmed the twigs and frost.
An unexpected gift, a moment of microcosm and unity in my neighborhood, just a few steps from my door. Something I would have missed if I hadn’t left the house or had traveled by car.