My brother came to town this weekend and we took advantage of the Miami Natural Areas for some beautiful fall hiking. The two of us had never hiked with just each other; our family went out some when we were younger, but the parentals always accompanied and we were too young to truly appreciate the activity.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to find solace in nature and I think my brother feels similarly.
In the forest, we were small but protected. The trees surrounded us like a giant blanket, providing security from the outside world. Today, Joseph spotted a deer and we stopped to admire it. As it stared back at us, I felt that we were equals – both passing through the same place, both curious of one another. We walked on, leaving the deer to its devices.
We paused for a moment, listening to a stream trickle through a small ravine, lapping gently at the edges of rocks and carrying with it glistening reflections of the autumn sun. The sounds and sights of nature are unmatched in their tranquility.
Life has been particularly demanding lately and it was nice to be away from my email inbox and ever-growing list of to-dos. Joseph and I walked side-by-side and chatted; we walked with distance between us and thought by ourselves; we stopped and watched, stopped and listened, stopped and said, “Look at this!” We took photos of each other and of the things we found beautiful and enjoyed conversation in a manner we rarely do – free from distraction and unconfined by time.
It felt nice to be among so many things that did not judge and that asked nothing of us, other than respect and compassion. Nature understands.