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Monday, October 26, 2015

Memories in the woods


There is something about going for a walk in an Indiana forest that takes me back more years than I would like to admit.  The musty-sweet smell, the call of bluejays in the trees, the breeze causing leaves to dip and float from their lofty heights down to the sandy floor, the peacefulness of being out in the woods - sensations that trigger memories of a ten-year old girl, fresh off of the city streets of Chicago for a Girl Scout camping weekend in what we surely thought was a wilderness adventure.   Twice each year, we had the chance to build campfires, tell scary stories, blaze trails through the forest, get lost and then get found again.  It was where I learned folks songs around a fire, how to get toasted marshmallows off a whittled stick so they could be squished between layers of graham crackers and chocolate bars, how to extract our boots from spring mud and how to use stones and sticks to mark a new trail for others to follow.   That young girl would have been pleased to know that this grown-up version lives close enough to walk these forests as often as she can . . . . and remember.