Swept Away

I sit down upon the cold surface of the wooden bench that lies stranded in a field near my yard. The cold wind picks up, rustling through the bare trees, sending a chill down my back. Small bumps form on my arm and I wish I had remembered a jacket. One thing I won’t miss about this town is the cold, I think to myself. My five-acre yard is often an escape from the busyness of life and constant demands of society. Right now, I’m eluding the thoughts of graduation and apprehension of the unknown university life in a big city.

As the spring sun starts to set, I appreciate my surroundings; I will never forget the serenity that comes with the nature in this town. A small, shriveled leaf scurries among the branches of the forest floor. The wind is powerful, encouraging the brown leaf to continue on its path. I watch it float forward; suddenly, it becomes trapped by a fallen branch. As quickly as the stick halts the leaf, the wind’s cool embrace lifts the small leaf and carries it until I lose sight of it. I begin to wonder where the leaf has gone. Where it will end up. Once again I lose focus of my observing thoughts and my mind drifts, wondering where I will be in one year. Where I will end up.

I push these concerns from my brain and tell myself to watch, to listen. I see the bent trees and murky puddles. I hear the snow melting into streams, slowly seeping into the soft earth. I remind myself that although everything in my life seems to be changing before I’m ready, some things will always be the same. The feeling of nature surrounding my body comforts me; it momentarily unburdens me of my stress. When I make my way back to my house, I acknowledge that nature is everywhere. As much as I will miss the familiarity of my own backyard, I can find peace in nature wherever I end up.