"If I were me..."


When I Breathe Nature Print

Walking in a section of woods I haven’t visited for years, I felt as if I was seeing things I had never seen before. But I had seen them. I just forgot. I forgot that the woods were filled with hemlocks, one of my favorite, sometimes hard to find trees of southeastern New England. I had forgotten the incredibly hard, packed down path that runs along the cornfield at the beginning of the trail, and the interesting, bug conversations coming from the dark places among the stalks. I had forgotten that at the top of the granite outcropping in the middle of this sanctuary, dragonflies drift by as if they are flying above the highest mountain on earth. And tiny, fluffy seeds are carried effortlessly on paths in the sky where there are no paths.

On most woodland trails, a good deal of time is spent looking downward at your feet, dodging roots and rocks, and creatively jumping the occasional mud hazard. It was the same here. But looking up on one occasion, I caught a glance of an intriguing, almost hidden hill to my left. I have an eye for those kinds of spots, the places where a child would sneak off and claim it for their own, secret place. When I saw it, I unexpectedly opened my mouth and said out loud, “If I were me (short pause) and I am!” Just seven, unscripted words with a short, but awkward pause in the middle, and nature helped me see things from a whole, new perspective.