Every time I enter the Marquam Nature Park, I think of Bill Bryson’s bestselling book. Not the content necessarily, since I only just finished reading the book, but the concept- walking in the woods. Either one step in, one step out, a quick nose in the trees to smell the pine needles and embrace the quiet. Or a longer walk, maybe an hour or two- hearing the crunch of dirt below my feet, the birds and other critters rustling in the bushes, and the wind meandering through the ravine. Or maybe you will spend a weekend in the woods- living on the land and cooking in the company of trees. Or in Bill Bryson’s case, weeks on end- exerting muscles and stretching limbs to their limit. But my story is simpler- I have had an outside relationship with the Marquam Nature Park and I hope to change that.
When I was much younger, I walked the trails a few times but spent my afternoons in my neighbor’s yard or climbing the secret staircases of my neighborhood looking for fairies. In high schoo, I ran in the park to get in shape for soccer. Now I hope to get accquainted with the roots on the trails, the Cedars and the Dougs growing tall, and the many miles that I am so fortunate to have laid before me as a Portlander. I hope to use this desire, this relationship building, to both get exercise and write- two things I hope to do every day. This is in an effort to better myself, settle any thoughts, and quiet my mind. Who knows, maybe this process of exploring, running, and writing will increase the chatter in my head but it’s worth a try, eh? And increased activity always makes the chatter more interesting.
Maybe I still do believe in the ferries in my home- or at least the friends waiting to be made while walking in the woods- noticing sounds, smelling the air, and connecting to the energy in the place. This is the beginning of my walk.