Do You Touch The Trees When You’re in the Woods?

I’ve been walking more on our local greenway since getting a new FitBit for my birthday. (Steps are the new black ya’ll!) We are incredibly lucky to live so close to a Nashville treasure.

I try to Zen out as much as I can when I’m walking although admittedly it’s tough for me to do that. My 11-year-old told me a few weeks ago that she felt like she was just another “one of your to dos on your to do list” and it both hurt my heart and made me think. Leave it to kids to make you reassess your focus. Life has been crazy busy lately and I’m smack dab in the sandwich generation of aging parents and kids in middle school and high school. I don’t ever want my kids to just think I’m going through the motions, but admittedly when things get chaotic it does seem that way.

I was walking on the greenway last week and really focusing in on my surroundings and looking for signs of fall. The towering trees are always a comforting shroud of shade and coolness and familiarity when I walk and I stopped to touch some of the spongy moss on one of the tree trunks. Then it dawned on me…how many times are we “in the woods” both literally and figuratively and we breeze by our surroundings, not taking the time to really touch them or notice them? So many people I know are hurting and we all are really just doing the best we can in this crazy ole world.

This tree trunk on my regular greenway route has grabbed my attention more than once. It reminds me of one of my favorite childhood books, the classic “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein. To me it serves as a reminder that there is rest and there is haven in nature if we just slow down. My tendency when I am “in the woods” or stressed out is to shut people out, but we really need to let people in when we are hurting or feeling helpless. I’m also a recovering perfectionist and I tend to want to go it alone. Sometimes you just need to let that need to be in control go and ask for help. If you’re a recovering perfectionist like me, please know that it’s OK to screw up or ask for help. Trust me, your family will be happy that you are not a 24/7 stressball. Perfection is overrated!


It also reminds me that even though I’ve walked this path dozens of times, there are still new sights to appreciate and new treasures to touch.

This world is crazy busy but if we just stop to listen and touch and really see our surroundings, we’ll remember what matters most.


One comment

Leave a Reply