Having been born and raised in New Jersey, I would consider myself a city girl. Or at least I would have before I came to Dallas, PA. When I first arrived here, the first thing that I noticed (besides my limited data connection and numerous cemeteries) was the surplus of nature. You would think that, me being from “The Garden State”, I would be used to seeing so many trees, and I am. But when I immerse myself in “The Woods” here, it seems to have something different.
Throughout this summer I have been working with the Misericordia groundskeepers, and so I’ve been spending much more time outdoors than usual. While I was cleaning the open field being the football field, with music blaring in my headphones, I walked the perimeter of the wooded area that surrounds our campus. Suddenly, I found myself at a point, about two feet wide, where the trees were slightly less dense and I could see directly in. At that moment I realized that I hadn’t mentally been there that entire time. I was merely doing my task, not allowing myself to notice, let alone appreciate, all of the beauty that surrounded me. As I gazed in, I was mesmerized by the beauty of nature. I turned my music off and allowed myself to fully absorb and appreciate where I was. I closed my eyes and listened to the woodpecker in the distance and the rustling of small animals in the underbrush. I was captivated. I felt as though I were standing in front of a portal to another land. The sound and smell of the earth, I had never experienced so fully before. I had no choice but to wander in. I wished that I had a book or a sketch pad, so that I could sit there. Still. Just be one with the earth. With the woods. Allow nature to continue with its everyday routine. I wanted to see how the chipmunks play and how the birds sing with each other. How the river dances around the stones and how the snakes caress the strands of grass. The beauty is never-ending.
Now, I’d say that I am more of a nature girl than city. I felt as though I would never, could never, grow tired of being in such a pure form of this earth. I’m used to being caught up in this fast paced lifestyle. There’s always a paper due, always a bill to pay, you have to go, go, go! But in my all too brief moments of being fully engrossed in nature, time seems to be at a stand still. I feel so stress free. The city has once taken my breath away. But the woods, oh the woods, you have my heart.
So, if you are ever extremely stressed out. I would humbly suggest that you get out, into the nature surrounding you, if the weather permits it, and just sit. You needn’t do anything else. Be still. And allow nature to remedy you. I promise you wont regret it. 🙂