A Hike

The trees towered over me. It was quiet, other than scattered bird songs and the occasional car, almost distant.

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I was going for a hike.

The last time I went for a hike, I had a friend in town. That was almost a year ago. I was feeling–not frazzled so much as exhausted–emotionally more than physically, after Easter, after the Sri Lanka bombings and Rachel Held Evans’ death. I wanted to go do something refreshing, something that gives me joy.

This was a wildflower reserve, and I love flowers. Not planted-in-a-row flowers–they’re pretty, sure, but really I love wildflowers, scattered in the oddest of places when they’re not blanketing the ground. And I love bee watching, the unexpected beauty of bees and their dedication, their glinting or striped or fuzzy bodies.

So there I was. In the woods, searching for refreshment?, for peace. I brought a book; I had my phone camera. I walked along, and saw some beautiful flowers, some beautiful bees. I sat and read for a while. I watched a bumble bee queen search for a nest.

And it was fine. It wasn’t great; I wasn’t filled with immediate peace the second I stepped onto the path. It wasn’t terrible; it was fun to see the flowers and search for bees, guess at names and categories long after I’ve forgotten the technical terms. It was just… normal. There was nothing transcendent about it. (It was too humid for that.)  It was good.

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