The Woods At Home

Janell Burley Hofmann, November 19, 2015

I carried my babies, on my back, in my arms, took them by the hand, until they could climb your trees and find your hidden trails all on their own.

We piled our new dogs in the car to meet you. But we weren’t the only ones to know of your steep paths or spiky trees or the place where the trail floods. Grandparents and cousins and friends also found safety and comfort and play in your woods.

I came here to drop stones in your stream. I filled them with wishes and prayers for all the beautiful things to reveal and in hope that all the fears would be carried away.

I came here for shelter from the places where my marriage stung or when I was needed too much, but couldn’t go too far. When I was tired of being alone with all the people, you welcomed me. When it was so heavy, you carried some.

And always before the sun, when the sky was just purple, I came to you with my favorite group; to run and sweat and swim or take magical morning walks with a new friend as she grew her first baby.

When I had no extra dollars, it didn’t matter because your great show still revealed. Your foxes stood up in the path and barked as I walked by and your leaves still fell, the owls still perched on the very tops of the trees and the winter air always bit just enough to keep me awake. As the tides pulled in and out, you didn’t ask a thing of me, but to witness.

When I was worried or angry or unsure, I let the sun find its way through your trees and heal me. And even though it feels better most of the time, I still come to you with my questions. And you hold them for me because I can’t know it all right now. Even when I demand it, when I yell or cry or need to crawl my way back to living, you convince me to trust. Even when the joy is bursting from my fingertips and my best secrets have all come true, you convince me to trust. You nudge me to believe. You tell me to keep going. So I do. So I will.

Let’s All Keep Going. 


Scorton Bridge 

 Scorton 2 



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