Walking in the cold. Stopping in the rays of the sun. Walking more. I shiver as a cool breeze nips at my exposed neck. I pull my notebook closer to my chest and lower my head to look at my boots. They are wet and speckled with grass and clovers. As I raise my head, I spot a tree in direct sunlight. I continue my walk until I am faced with this very tree. Perfect. I sit at its base, open my notebook and look around for something to write about. Thinking. Thinking. Thinking.
My mind is blank. Instead, my eyes wander, searching for something to write about. My eyes soon close as I lean my head against the tree and take a deep breath. The world seems to slow as I lower my head. The trees in front of me are lost in the golden hue of the sun that continues to rise.
After what seems like a few seconds, the birds resume their early morning calls, already ignoring the fact that I have invaded their area. As I sit there I think of how unusual it is for me to be here at all. I am a disturbance, a nuisance, an irritation to the surrounding nature. I do not belong. I stick out like a drop of blood in a snowy field.
The curtain of sun that once graced me, has now moved on. The one reason that I sat at this very tree is now gone. A cold breeze nips at my cheeks. I zip up my vest and draw my legs in to retain heat. I glare at the rays of the ever moving sun, as if I had some sort of control over it.
A tiny red squirrel makes its way from tree to tree, stopping once it has reached the one where I rest. It lowers itself down the branches, peppering my paper with droplets of morning dew. I look up. I’m immediately graced with the curious face of the tiny squirrel, no more that six feet above me. It tilts its head to the right and I do the same, mimicking its actions. The tiny squirrel takes off as I move to get a better look. Everything seems to go still as the squirrel hurriedly makes its way through the trees. I freeze as well. Just as quickly as it appeared, it is now gone.
The birds once again resume their morning chatter, as if nothing happened. They don’t seem to care that a stranger is in their home. I wonder what they think of me. Am I just another creature, like the rest that periodically make their way through here. Or are they, like the squirrel, curious, but just too scared to come any closer. I look at the trail that I had come from and rule out the curiosity, for these trails are mowed and maintained. These birds have seen a person before and think nothing of it. But then why did the squirrel stop? Was it because I stopped and sat in one place? Was it the disturbance of my entire presence? Was it just a baby squirrel, curious at everything new?
I lower my legs as the sun decides to peek out from behind a tree and grace me with warmth once more. I close my eyes and bask in the golden rays. The cheerful tunes of the birds make sure I don’t dose off. I open my eyes once again.
I look at the smeared lines of my notebook as something catches my eyes. A tiny green clover is stuck to the side of my boot. The leaves are pressed flat, like a newly paved road. The stem barely curves to the right and changes shades to a lighter green. I gently remove it from its place and twirl it in my fingers. I then let it fall to the forest floor. I think of that clover, yanked from its comfortable home of the earth, plucked from its safe haven, then discarded as if it were nothing. It seemed out of place on my boots. Just as I seemed out of place in this forest. It seemed like nothing.
I stand, brushing myself off . I step back out to the trail and look back to where I once sat. The grass that once stood tall is now flattened. It looks out of place. Like it shouldn’t be there, and I am yet again reminded that I do not belong here.
I walk down the trail deep in thought. No longer am I stopping in the rays of the sun. No longer do I tuck my chin, when a cold breeze sweeps through. No longer do I notice the cold seeping into my bones. I do however notice a foot print. It is mine, from the walk out. I stepped in a clover patch. Was this where the single clover came from? I do not know. But as I look at this footprint I am greeted with a lovely sight. Where the clovers are now parted sits a small tree frog, that has seemed to make the parted clovers its new home.