It started off as a neighborhood walk. No biggie. The day was sunny and 70 degrees. Perfect weather! first I sauntered through the secret magical trail to where the two creeks meet. It’s a special spot, like a vortex. I hung out there for a little while, made my way through bushes, and then I trekked into the woods. I had not planned to go far, just a little way to my favorite tree. My feet felt fine like there was nothing wrong with them. I reached my favorite tree and while I leaned against it, I could hear the creaking of trees around and way above. They whispered, keep going. It’s okay.
I listened, and I kept going. I took it slow and climbed the familiar trail I love so much. I stayed away from the loose rocks and then I got to where wood was added on one side of the trail with hemp mesh. Most likely to keep the trail from sliding down a steep hill.
I figured I’d hike to the second bridge and then head back. Didn’t want to push it with my feet. I still felt great. I wasn’t winded and felt no pain in my feet. Some maples and larches have turned yellow. Fallen leaves litter the trail. Soon there would be many. Before I knew it, I had reached the bench! Yay! I sat on the bench for a while and took everything in. I could see the trees in the far distance and I noticed the ferns surrounding the bench and smelled leftover blackberries and Douglas firs. I was definitely in my happy place.
The fairy house was still intact with new items such as a Buddha that sat on the roof next to jewelry and a wooden fairy angel hanging nearby the fairy house. Mischievous nymphs hung from thin branches.
I figured I’d gotten this far, might as well hike a little further. I crossed the long wooden walking bridge and kept going, still feeling great. I thought of that AC DC song. It’s a long way to the top if you want to climb the hill! It’s not easy climbing up this hill, but it still gives me a chill.
It felt so good to be high among the trees. I felt invincible like I could do anything. Look at me! I made it to the top. But I stopped at the third bridge. I finally turned around and slowly and methodically made my way back down the hill. I had to stop to take it all in. The slight yellowing and gold of the deciduous trees below, along with the Douglas firs and spruces. I didn’t care how I’d feel later. I just knew I’d made it further up than I had in months.
On my way down near the second bridge and an ancient Douglas fir, I met some people. An older guy with walking sticks and a younger couple. I noticed the woman touched the fir and then leaned against it as I do. I hadn’t seen anyone else on the trail do that. They introduced themselves to me after we talked as if we’d known each other for ages and met on the trail. Jimmy was the older guy with the walking sticks. Then Raymond and Hiba. They just moved to Eugene in January from Texas. Hiba is a professor of art and design at the University of Oregon. Raymond had a really cool wooden Indian flute. Jimmy was super knowledgeable about all the trees in the woods.
Jimmy reminded me of my close friend Erik, who passed away about a year and a half ago, so happy, talkative, and knowledgeable. And he showed me a plastic vial, a squid creature. I wondered how that would work into the scheme and if he’d contributed some of the other stuff as well. Maybe the Buddha? But then I realized anything goes with the fairy house in the woods.
Raymond got out his wooden flute and played it for me! He even gave me permission to video his performance in the woods. How perfect the tones of the wooden flute sounded in the woods. Raymond said he also loves the ukulele. Like the flute, you can carry it with you anywhere.
They asked if I wanted to walk up the hill with them and I had to decline. I’d already walked further than I had in ages. We finally parted ways, and I continued down the hill not feeling pain because I took it slow. Maybe I don’t need surgery on my feet after all! Maybe they’ll heal themselves on their own! Maybe I really didn’t have gastrocnemius equinus and posterior tibial tendinitis in both feet and ankles. Maybe it’ll magically disappear.