I gave myself a new title this weekend.
I am an explorer.
How else can you describe a person who delights in wandering aimlessly through the woods in order to spy a lopsided toadstool or the falling of a sassafras leaf?
What better name can you attribute to a woman whose bowed head stays focused on smooth rocks, hidden wild flowers, and nature's souvenirs?
Or...with eyes titled upward to focus on the outline of pine trees, the blueness of the sky - the roundness of the moon?
This weekend at the cabin I found myself with childlike eyes again- anxious to kick up crimson colored leaves and overturn tiny stones and peek beneath the fleshy sprout of a new mushroom. While my husband mowed the yard, I disappeared into the edge of the woods with my camera. I know from experience that these treasures do not last long...
The sunlight on yellow leaves will fade after noon.
The toadstools will wither and rot, or be eaten by rodents.
Trees with a ball of red leaves will become bare in time.
Polished rocks will become hidden beneath rain soaked soil.
And I will lose the innocence of a young girl.
Responsibilities will make me cynical once more. Days will make me weak and frail and uninterested in what Mother Nature offers.
Later, there will not be enough time...
That evening I told my husband that when I am finished exploring that place, then I will die.
Because I could explore it forever.
It is constantly changing- perpetually revealing hidden colors and pleasant treasures and perfumes that make my lungs sing.
The shadows shift, the light dances, the narrow paths open up to other worlds...
Temperatures change, sounds echo, pine trees whisper words I've yet to learn...
I delighted in finding new gifts. I took with me the tiniest acorn I had ever seen, with its little top hat still in place. And a sharp rock that looks like the face of an owl. A red spotted leaf, a white stone the size and shape of a penny, and a rusty hinge that was half buried in last years wood pile.
These are simple things, I know. Things that most people never care about or rarely see.
But to me- they are my bounty, my prize, my proof of miracles.
And I am an explorer.