a walk in the woods

Photo credit: supportforstudents.msu.edu

Photo credit: supportforstudents.msu.edu

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.

Appalachian Trail

Appalachian Trail. Photo credit: Google photos



6 thoughts on “a walk in the woods

  1. Pingback: a woodland walk «

  2. Hello, Katie. I really liked what you’ve written. I’m from Brazil and I’m writing a book, and some scenes of the story happen in Marquam Nature Park. It seems to be an amazing place! I plan to visit Portland in the future, and of course, I want to visit Marquam Nature Park too.

    • Hello Fernanda! Wonderful to hear from you, from so far away! Congratulations on your book. Sounds like a great project. I would love to hear more about it…is it set in Portland? How did you come to know of Marquam Nature Park?

      • Hello, Katie! I’m happy you answered. Yes, the story is set in Portland! I have been seeing photos and videos of Portland and it really amazed me, ’cause it’s a wonderful place. I wanted the main character of my story to live near a forest/park and then using Google Maps I’ve found Marquam Nature Park, and started researching for information. The place really caught my attention!

      • Well this is truly a unique, wonderful place to live. I am a native, though, so I am a bit biased 🙂 I am curious what you have found out about Portland, being so far away! Have you watched any of the show “Portlandia?” It’s scarily accurate…with some slight exaggeration. Marquam Nature Park is also wonderful. Actually, just today, the park hosted a dedication of a 100 ft mosaic mural that was just completed at the park’s small amphitheater. It was a wonderful public art project. But yes, Portland is a great place to set a story!

      • A mosaic mural? That sounds pretty cool! Well, I have never watched Portlandia. As I remember, first time I’ve heard of Portland, was when I saw a picture of Multnomah Falls (and I was like “Oh, my God, it’s so beautiful) and it was said that the place was in the region of Portland, and then I decided to research about the city. I’ve found out that Portland was a big city surrounded by rivers, parks, waterfalls… Wow! I was so impressed seeing all those pictures. I really have no doubt it’s a wonderful place.

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