Solitude

the lovely peace of solitude 

in the woods 

i find the lovely peace of solitude

where the only sounds i hear

are the chirp of birds…

the rustle of wings in the undergrowth…

the forage of squirrels in dry leaves…

and the occasional trickle of water

i follow a stream that parallels the trail…

leading to a wide creek and on to an expansive river…

the sun, so strong for November, 

warms my skin,

reaches its apex, then begins a slow steady descent,

casting long shadows across the leaf littered floor 

most leaves have fallen,

only the rich yellow-bronze of the beech cling tightly to their branches…

vibrant against the smooth, gray,

graffiti laden bark

i follow the creek…

a watery ribbon of reflected color,

until the trail snakes away

into the deepening woods

there is solace in these woods

and i cherish every step,

planting my boots firmly in the mud 

to leave an impression…

evidence that I was here,

along with the footprints of 

many kindred spirits

Sylvia L. Mattingly November 9, 2020

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Return to Pope Lick Park

This year for whatever the reason, I have not been going to the park to walk as I’ve done for the past four years. I’ve missed it and today I returned. It was sunny and beautiful. There is no place I’d rather see the changing seasons. Today was typical August hot, the woods verdant with plenty of black-eyed Susans and butterflies. One medium sized butterfly even took a ride on my shoulder for a couple of minutes.

So good to be back!

P.M. Walk

The Parklands

How lucky we are who live near the Parklands.  Whether one is a biker, a runner or like me just a walker, there is a trail for you. Nature is abundant and stunning. Here are a few scenes my walk today. 

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“Reading about nature is fine, but if a person walks in the woods and listens carefully, (s)he can learn more than what is in books, for they speak with the voice of God.”   George Washington Carver

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A.M. Walk

A rare lower humidity day brings a cute youngster out to play at Pope Lick Park. It was curious, but not a risk taker. This was as close as I came.  

A surprise on the walkway was this baby frog. It was definitely a day for juveniles. She/he was the perfect subject for photo taking, holding still and posing. fullsizeoutput_18e1

“You will find something more in woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you that which you can never learn from masters.” Saint Bernard

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As will flowers, deer and frogs. 

Challenge Accepted

Thank you to Syl Mattingly who submitted this poem in response to the challenge of July 29, to write a personal version of the poem by George Ella Lyon, “Where I’m From.”

Where I’m From

i am from white clover . . .
from lightening bugs and night-crawlers

i am from the soil
in the garden
(rich and earthy . . .
it smelled like Grandma’s root cellar)

i am from the mulberry tree
and
the water maple
whose roots i played on . . .
encircling and cradling me

i’m from Paint by Number Jesus
and
Davey and Goliath . . .
chewing gun chains and stamp collections

i’m from the golden rule
and the salt of the earth

from “mother may i,” swing sets
and welded tricycle handlebars

I’m from Fisherville,
wooded hillsides and Floyd’s Fork . . .
a white horse named Cricket

from the days when the creek rose,
floodwater filling the house
and my Mother crying as we watched

I am from the journals that i wrote,
revealing my thoughts,
a flood of feelings and emotions
dredged from my soul

i am from that season
when nature enveloped me
and kept me hidden, safe within those wooded hills

by Sylvia L. Mattingly, August 7, 2017

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