Out To the Woods, Also

How does that nursery rhyme go?  “To market, to market, to buy a fat hog…”  Well, I am not off to procure a pig but it is ten in the morning and still, I am not beating the rising heat index. I have whistled for Sadie and we are headed out to the state forest that abuts my brothers property.

Overhead, the clouds twist and whirl, creating cloud scapes that resemble sand sculptures. The birds chirp happily and their lilting musical punctuates the quiet.

The sun is warming the moss covered ground and steam shimmies from the green. The grey mist looks so similar to smoke that I am impelled to investigate to ensure that someone has not abandoned a stray cigarette.

I hear the rushing water before I see it. Peering over the trail edge, down the ravine, I can’t clearly see the violent source. But, it is evident that spring was a rainy season. Mudslides slid vegetation down the ravine altering the waters course.

We are invaded by a mountain biker and her little dog Penny. Sadie doesn’t like that they have unknowingly ridden onto our private path and I have to claim her collar and dig in my feet. If I am not secure, Sadie’s 80 pounds of canine girth will drag me to the ground. Sadie perceives a need to protect us from these evil intruders. I attempt to reassure her that we are fine, but she insists that they are out to harm us.

Our hike won’t be long today. I have places to go and appointments to keep. This is another reason of why I need to crawl out of bed earlier, so I can take my time and revel in the aloneness that earlier hours bring.

On this hill, at times, I feel like Sadie and I are the only two beings on Earth. It is a slice of isolated Paradise in the midst of the most densely populated counties in the state. Now that is irony. Isolation amidst the populace.

Sigh. I miss the variant shade of greens that are the forests of The Pacific Northwest.

Every summer visit to these woods, my intention, (Is that similar to a New Years resolution?) is to lose a few pounds. Or, at the very least maintain my current weight. I want to believe that if I lived permanently on this lush hill that I would be out most days getting my burn on. But, I suppose life would still get in the way and there would be excuses to not exercise.

I exercise in part because I enjoy food. In reality, I am picky of the food that I put in my gullet. But here at my brothers, there’s a plethora of food and a variety of which I would normally not indulge. So, in an attempt to mitigate the extra intake, I take this body out for at least an hour hike. But as I have said, it isn’t such a torture, I told you of the beauty.

I suppose it is too, nostalgia that compels me out to the woods. And my brain remembers a better freedom. My brain remembers when I ran these trails and ran them with abandon, not encumbered by extra flesh. Though I must add in my defense, I am 10 pounds lighter from my last Out to the Woods post. That’s no mean feat for a person that is hypothyroid and loves food. No light feet. (grin)

Generally, for me, the love of food coexists with extra pounds. I don’t enjoy the extra weight however, I am learning to love this body. I know I am capable of loving my body at whatever size, weight or condition. I know, because I get glimpses of acceptance that I am what I am. To not nurture my body as is, is a self defeating attitude.

As an adult I have been a size 10 and a size 22.  I wasn’t any happier at a size 10, so why wait to love myself? There is more to me than that number on the scale. I am after all, quirky, funny, caring, smart, unique and an amazing human being.

Loving my body means appreciating it for its strength and abilities; how my body works for me. To admire my bodies resilience to come back and fight against the rampant neglect it has at times endured. For me loving my body/myself is feeling content with who I am, or becoming, regardless of my dress size. Loving my body also means feeling sexy in my head and not relying on others to affirm what I could already know. The more I hear it rumbling around my brain, the more I believe, sexy is an attitude, not a state of dress.

But I have to ask, why do we not raise girls to be smart, strong, independent and self loving from the get go? Why does it appear that it takes age for a woman to come to herself? For her not to care what others think of how she looks, feels or acts?  And for my brain age, defined, means the woman has married/partnered, has raised children, gotten them out of the nest and now has time to contemplate herself. (Perhaps an old fashioned notion.) But I have no children. What’s my excuse? Chances are I spent too much time in my head and my thoughts deceived with half truths.

My current truth and mantra; Stop hating my body/myself and treat me kindly. Do not punish my body with over indulgence or lack of movement. Stop the self-hate talk. Strengthen my mind and body or it will deteriorate and atrophy. To do things that scare me and remove me from my comfort zone.

I know that to be active in my senior years I need these things. So for now, I attempt a bit of yoga/stretching to get the morning kinks out, take the goat out for a walk or hike and exercise my mind with new activities.

They say that coming of age is a young persons transition.  Well, for me that is untrue, I am finally coming of age.

…..”Home again, home again, jiggity jog.”


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