The amount of time he had spent in nature made him skeptical that he could truly feel it any differently than he had in any previous experience. Nature was very much something he found peace and a sense of home from. What could really be different about this trip than any other time spent marching through desert, hill or mountain.
Go she said. Feel she pleaded. Find freedom she sighed.
Sure, he’d go. He was there. Nothing really feels different, how could you find freedom in a place that has always been your only freedom or more truthfully escape. He had been pondering whether or not she really actually knew him that well after all. This has always been something he’d clung too. Nothing truly tasted as sweet as the fresh air he tasted after the stress of life and all the things that go with it.
Closing his truck door the conversation ran through his mind yet again. “There is more that you can feel.” He rolled his eyes, but instantly regretted it knowing that regardless of how much he was frustrated with this request, there had been a couple of times she was right. How could there be more to feel? He loved textures, there were few he hadn’t touched. Rock, tree, grass even animal; all things that he was not afraid to get to know intimately.
She described the things she saw in the mountains. While none of them were things that he had missed in his experiences, each one seemed to take a different shape through her eyes. How was it possible that she could feel the way she did, when he lived these woods. He had to be honest with himself, her mind shaped things differently and she very often explained her appreciation for hearing him explain things to her in the same passion. Still it boggled him.
Walking through the trees that growing in density provided him that comfort of being lost. Stepping over stone, boulder and root flashes of their conversations played clearly in his mind. As he started to hike higher he enjoyed listening to the sounds around him, something he always looked forward to. Whether or not she understood his love of the outdoors, the trip would still be a relief from life.
“Feel” she said. He was looking for something that looked like the picture she painted while they had talked. Each few steps seemed to bring about a good many feelings. There was the ever present pain from family stress. There was the growing pressure from a job despite his love of the work he did. There was the joy of feeling loved from the close circle of people that he stayed hidden in. Joy that didn’t come from nature was something quite new to him. There was the feeling of having those stresses sucked further away each step he took.
“Freedom” she spoke softly as a smile lifted her cheeks. He’d as of yet, despite her colorful explanations, understood why she saw him the way she did. Unfairly she returned the question with the exact same. “Do you know the freedom of sitting on the earth?” He looked at her in an air of frustration. This woman had seen him sit on the floor and ground, even lay on it time after time. Perhaps she really is the kind of crazy that she claims she is. “Find a place that you can sit”, she smiled. The image coming so very clearly of the look on her face and where they were when they had talked. He hadn’t hid his skepticism.
“Freedom.” Of course there was freedom sitting down in nature, listening to it’s whispers. There was something very freeing about hearing your own heartbeat and realizing that you are a part of nature; you are an animal.
“Sit and listen, take in everything around you. Take in the beauty and sounds. Taste the scent air, soil and green. Lay your body on the earth under a tree get comfortable and feel every sensation that you can.”
Laying there was no different than any other time and he knew that the only reason he had made a special trip out of town was for her. She made him feel loved, wasn’t that in itself the biggest “feel” he’d need? He adjusted himself around the roots, something she loved and the rocks that were a bit rude. He took in the sensations she’d asked him to consider. He’d promised to give it some time, he convinced himself that a few more minutes really should be enough.
“Let go of everything but the things you feel. When your body is finally comfortable let it melt into the earth, it does already you just need to stop fighting it. Close your eyes and do nothing but feel. See the yellow sunshine pierce through the leaves that dance in the soft sweet breeze beneath your closed eyelids. Relax, don’t fight, don’t think… FEEL be FREE.”
He remembered her words and focused on the few images she gave him. Soon he felt a falling sensation, something gentle and comforting. Of the things he felt included came the biggest relief he had ever had in his life.
She was right, you can feel the earth move.
*another word prompt! yellow – family – love – sensation – feel
thank you for your wonderful words