Today marks the end of my first week in Julia Cameron’s book Walking in this World. It has been an incredible week, during which I was inspired to launch Arrows of Desires…one creative project every day during the month of June. Sunday is also Artist’s Date day and as I had not done one yet, Weekly Walk day as well. I was full of anticipation as I selected a creative action. I drew:
Walk on a new walking trail.
How perfect. All three of my activities for the day captured in one creative action. I love how these synchronicities happen when I let go and trust.
Where to walk? I’ve explored most of the trails in the Joplin area. I considered driving to Arkansas or Springfield, MO. However, as I used the Google app on my phone, I came upon a blog post by a Joplin woman about the Walter Woods Conservation Area south of the city. I read about deep woods, foot bridges, and streams, and I knew I had located my walking trail for today’s activity. Although I was familiar with this wooded area, having driven by it many times, I have never walked there. Perfection, again.
This is a public area, however Walter Woods is not well known, being in a very secluded area. Because I wasn’t sure how remote it would feel, I invited Greg to accompany me. And I carried a big walking stick! Greg is familiar with the concepts from Julia’s books. He was a quiet walking companion who allowed me to take the lead and choose paths and destinations.
The trail wound through a dense, lush forest and I was immediately enchanted. The world receded. I was serenaded by the songs of birds, the gurgling creek that flowed through the woods, and the shushing sound of the wind playing in the leaves of countless trees.
Very few things connect with my heart and soul like nature does. Walking in the woods today, pausing occasionally to sit on a bench, standing on tiny bridges watching the water tumble by, my spirit expanded, reaching out to brush against swaying trees and mossy rocks and sun dappled plants. In return I was stirred by the symphony around me. I inhaled deeply, drawing into me the scents of life and decay, growth and sunshine, and utter wildness. The word enchanted kept echoing in my mind and in this magical place, I could easily believe that the forest was.
The word enchant comes from the Latin word incantare, in + cantare – to sing. Literally, to enchant is to captivate with song. I had found the target of my arrow of desire. I was enchanted by these woods, this stream, the riotous chorus of nature around me. I was totally captivated by the aching beauty and serenity of this place. The chanting of the woods called forth from me a resonating song of life and joy, creating a duet only the Divine could hear. The Divine, who converged three desires today into one beautiful outing, who used the writings of another blogger to give me a direction in which to fire my arrow.
George Santayana wrote, “The earth has music for those who listen.”
I heard that music today.