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Sitting at the computer, my mind whirs. Busy with thoughts, ideas for a class, I organize and plan for the future. My fingers tap rapidly at the keyboard, trying to keep apace with thoughts flying through my mind. Yet nothing falls into place.

As my mind goes round and round in circles, my breathing becomes shallow, my body tight. Though my fingers temporarily slow in response to the thought, “might as well check e-mail,” my mind continues to race.

Suddenly becoming conscious of what’s happening, I take a deep breath and ask my body to release, to let go. My breath slows, yet tension remains. Dispensing with the e-mail, I glance at the clock, and realize “it’s time for my walk.”

After donning a jacket and boots, I step outside, close the door, and inhale deeply. Crispness enters my body. I sense air dispersing stagnation, enlivening cells.

Trail in WoodsMy legs find their rhythm as they guide me down a well-known trail. My feet make contact with the leaf littered path, sensing the earth’s undulations and adjusting accordingly. My arms swing beside me, counterbalancing the movements of each leg.

And as my body finds its rhythm, my mind shifts gears. I notice clouds floating across the blue sky above, the soft smell in the air, the rustle of leaves under foot intermingling with the hum of a distant jet. I open to each experience and connect.

I connect with the earth beneath my feet, with the trees along the way, and with the barren branches that have released their leaves to the ground. Touching a white pine frond, I sense green energy prickling my finger- tips and entering my body. My heart expands with gratitude.

Returning to my house, I reflect on the experience and note that my perspective had shifted. Frantic mind evaporated along the trail, replaced by feelings of interconnection – with nature, with life itself.