Finding the Sun

I don’t know what I was hoping to find, or hear, or think, or see. All I knew was, after dropping my sewing machine off to be serviced in sunny Martinsburg, WV, I was not going immediately home to Frederick, MD where thick gray mist still covered the entire valley. I found myself pulling into Yankauer Nature Preserve .

My first steps, on a trail covered in soft pine needles still cushy from recent rain showers, took me into a forest glittering with raindrops.

Each sunlit drop clung precariously, and in futility, before beautifully releasing to the Earth. Rejoined with all the other droplets, waiting for the sun to regenerate and empower them to rise once more! To be immense and visible to all who gaze up into the billowing towers of clouds… the gathering of millions and millions of droplets.

The trail mimics a labyrinth, winding to the west, then east, then around again. I am walking into blinding light of the sun, then a few moments on, I find only dark shade in front of me and the warmth of the sun on my back.

Around one turn in the trail I spy a hawk. It spots me too….and takes flight over the Potomac River, then circles back and around until he finds a suitable alternate roost far from me.

Strange, this period between Winter Solstice and New Year’s. Yes, timeless, but more than that. For me, it has been a time of seeing myself as if Picasso had painted me. All angles of my life at once, past, present, even my future self, all vividly present at once.

Too much time and not enough either. I think about how we all get stuck sometimes and wonder whether struggling through is really the right approach to get unstuck. Maybe, like the rain droplets, we need to put our trust in the universe, to a certain extent, and let go.

So…with that said…Goodbye 2019, I release you! It was a hard year, for me and for the world.

Hello 2020! Let me have more sense, show more compassion, and act more responsibly. Let me be regenerated and empowered to take on life!

Hike on!

Yankauer Nature Preserve Shepherdstown, WV

An hour. Not much, but a great respite in the middle of a day that left me feeling like yesterday’s recycled paper towel.


Yankauer Nature Preserve is just north of Shepherdstown, WV off Scrabble Road. I arrived following Google directions which brought me through Hagerstown, MD, then down I-81.  I’ll go through Sharpsburg, MD, and Shepherdstown, WV, next time…more scenic.  After it was all done, I came back to Frederick that way.


Stepping onto the trail at Yankauer,  my senses were overcome.  Cedar permeated and the quietness invited me in.  I inhaled deeply, closing my eyes.  The woods said “hello, we are happy you are here.” I answered, “thank you, thank you for being here.”


The path wound through the brightest of green grass.  New spring grass, still fresh and untrampled.  Later, after spring goes and summer marches in, the grass will become hard and brittle in the intense MidAtlantic heat. 


But for now, it’s new and inviting, begging for bare feet, picnics, laughter, and, possibly, a glass of wine and holding hands.  I was in love with this moment.  A kodachrome blip on my day of black and white. 


Here’s to living in color. Raising my glass…Hike on.