I go out on the trails everyday to walk and enjoy the peace and beauty of nature with our dog Holly. Most days I settle right in, breathe deeply and allow nature to sooth me. But then there are the days when my brain can’t settle and finds troubling questions at every turn. Like I see a beautiful pair of woodpeckers, one pecking away at a ferocious rate. I begin to wonder, worry even, doesn’t the woodpecker ever get a headache? And then I see squirrels frantically working against the clock to put away enough food for winter and my super sensitive compassionate side wants to jump in and help them. Then I see coyote droppings that make me question what might happen if Holly and I come face to face with one. Is my mutt smart enough to know that is not a cool playmate? All this in the first 300 metres this morning. Soothing? No. The good news is, today I caught myself and remembered to return to my breath and focus on being present in the calming forest. I was able to return to my walking meditation, breathing mindfully and savouring my surroundings, gently nudging my mind to let thoughts drift away like clouds.
When I got home I thought about my walk and what lessons might have been at play. A little quick google research taught me about the intricate physiology of the woodpecker that protects their brain and their eyes from the staggering forces of their behaviors. My lesson, mother-nature is perfect and ensures our true nature is always just what we need. And the squirrels, well as I mulled that one over I think my lesson is about three things. One, abundance and the fact that there is always enough to go around just as there should be. Two, I don’t always need to play the role of the rescuer. Three, I think squirrels are smarter than I give them credit for. And lastly, with respect to my Holly befriending a coyote, like the squirrels she is probably smarter than I give her credit for. But my overall lesson, trust all is well and all will be well.
By Beth Montgomery