Complicated feelings require woods.

I have become sufficiently practiced at sloughing off whatever thing is sitting on my shoulders for a while the second I get my first eyeful of whatever the woods want to show me that day, at least for the duration of the visit. Breathe. Blow it all away, grin, and step on along to see what’s up next. Some days the weighing stuff gets replaced by detailed and expanding thought experiments, wheeling and swirling down new avenues. Sometimes it’s just a day to appreciate small details and be grateful for the peace. It is surprising how often a chaotic mess gets at least partially marshalled into a useful direction when I have broken the loop and come back later. The trick seems to lie in paying closer attention to the stone in the uptorn root ball, or the tiny shapes in the big blob of yellow, or the kebab of fungi on a rhododendron branch the more in turmoil your mind is.

There is a lot more complicated thinking to do, but at least it can be done in a more manageable amount and with a clearer head.

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