I love the woods in the winter. I love that familiar paths you take in the summer look completely different. Everything seems more open, more spacious. I love that you can walk through thick brush without running into spider webs. I love that earthy, wet smell walking over leaves that have been dead for months. I love the cold air that fills your lungs and makes you feel alert and alive.
Sunday afternoon was one of those classic, cold, sunny North Carolina winter days. I decided to take Leia to the Umstead State Park, a huge park of forests and trails in the middle of Raleigh. We hiked for a long time, trying to get lost, but my sense of direction always took me back to a trail I knew.
I’m the kind of person who likes to keep moving. Rush to the next meeting, the next activity, the next goal, the next season. My mind is going so fast, from activity to activity, it’s like I’m a cartoon character, barely touching the ground as I go. But being in nature grounds me. During those hours of hiking, just my sweet pup and me, I experienced that rare, beautiful moment of stillness and peace.
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” – Psalm 46:10
PS – Raleigh locals, have any of you been to the Umstead State Park? What are your favorite trails? Also, a post about the park in autumn.