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photographer unknown

photographer unknown

One day, this last weekend, I felt cooped up…trapped…irritated…impatient…smothered…suffocating. I needed to get outside and away from people. Initially, I felt frustration because where I wanted to go I couldn’t due to no longer having a car. I began to spiral into a space of victim-ness, so I just left the house to walk…without planning…without forethought…I simply followed the urge get out.

I’ve forgotten, in these moments of impulse, to grab my camera, for inevitably I see something that I want to share with others…and this walk was no different. It soon became clear to me that while I initially thought this was going to be a walk to clear my head, it also was destined to help my heart leap with joy…not only once, but twice.

I walked on familiar sidewalks, beside familiar homes, past favorite gardens or plants or trees, or favorite views. Just as I started to go down the mind’s obsessive path, I saw a piece of paper tied to a hedge with shimmer silk ribbon. On it was a sweet note of encouragement to whomever happened to be passing by. Below the note was a response from a fellow walker thanking the author for the many notes of silliness and uplift that she had tied to her hedge surrounding the house.

I stepped back to look for more notes, but I couldn’t see any…at first. Then I saw one…and then another…and then another…and then another. I felt like it was Easter morning and I was a kid looking for hidden chocolate eggs…my pulse quickened, my eyes opened wider, a smile grew on my face, and laughter bubbled out of my heart. I honestly didn’t care one whit what the notes said…I just loved that someone had taken the time to write them, then tie them in a place where random others could connect with her. It was in this moment that my outing became magical.

After wandering about and seeing lots of other magical sights along the way, I headed home. As I got nearer to my block, I met an older woman with her walker and two younger family members. I stepped off the sidewalk to let them pass, silently expressing gratitude that I had the strength and agility to do so. We exchanged pleasantries as they passed, and then I noticed that I was standing next to a particularly beautiful birch tree.

I keep thinking back, wondering if I encountered any other birch trees on that walk. I’m certain I must have…and yet, I don’t remember. None of them stand out in my memory, which is an odd thing since I love them so much. Only this one significantly impacted me…significant enough that, without thinking I gently leaned against a branch, put my arms around it, and rested my cheek on the smooth bark. I closed my eyes…melting into the tree…exchanging energy and expressing gratitude again for connection.

We stood there a while together…the birch tree and me. And then we parted, I completing the walk back to my house. As I walked, leaving Birch behind, I realized that she had a message for me, as we’d had such a significant encounter. Over the next few days I did some research and discovered this blog that spoke to my soul regarding our exchange.

And again, I expressed gratitude…to feel the earth and my heart leap once again.