Thursday, December 31, 2009

Snow-Covered Forest

I think walking through the woods with my two beautiful white shepards during a snowfall can quite possibly be the most peaceful thing a person can experience. The dogs absolutely love the snow, they run, jump, and prance about, they bury their faces deep into the snow and come up smiling. Molly hears something in the distance that I cannot. She stops, her front paw comes up, pointing, listening, her ears stand up straight as she tries to focus on the sound, and then in a second she is gone. The chase is on! Her speed continues to amaze me, even in the snow filled forest as she leaps like a dear over fallen trees and dodges around the brush with the quickness of a rabbit. But this time the rabbit was quicker, as she emerges from the wood with a dejected look on her face as if to say; "I missed." But she quickly recovers and throws her front paws up in the air like a kangaroo boxer, and nudges Jake with her nose. Then drops to her belly in the powdery snow, trying to tempt him into chasing her. But he could not be bothered; he is searching for his own hidden treasure as he buries his nose deep into the snow every few feet, following along the path beside me.

As we walk, I cannot help but notice how quiet it is. No cars rushing by, no people talking, no TV or radio noise, no phones ringing, or computers buzzing. I do not even hear a bird chirping, or chipmunk scurrying through the thick brush. The deep snow muffles the sounds of the forest as it covers everything in sight; it weighs heavy on the branches, bending them over the trail, creating a portico of bright white and evergreen. I can hear the dogs light panting and I notice the sound of my footsteps. I smell the winter air, and feel the cold on my skin. I am totally focused on what I can see, hear, smell, & feel. All of me is right there at that instant. Is this what they mean by living in the moment? The dogs are always in the moment, and walking through the snow-covered forest with them, allows me to see why. The quiet of a snow-covered woodland can transform you; bring you into a single moment in time. It is here that we can finally hear ourselves. The snow muffles all of the sounds and the silence is embracing. If you listen, at that moment, you will find all that you have been looking for. Alone in the calm of a snow-covered forest, you can go inside yourself and discover the answer to a question, resolve an issue, heal an illness, or pray for a friend. Some might say you can hear the universe speaking to you. Listen.