what the trees told me

poplar and maple trees

I went for a walk last night to a special place. There are trees there that speak to me. They reminded me of things I’d forgotten. I remember now.

I appreciate my special poplar trees.

p.s. I’m going to be starting to post irregularly on this blog and my Kitchen Sink Wisdom blog. I’m hoping that the posts that I do write will be more meaningful. See you next time!


boardwalk in woods

I actually took this photo not one, but two weekends ago, when I was walking in one of my favorite nearby woods. This path was flooded for most of the spring, and the day I took this photo was the first time I’d walked this way since last fall. (That’s the swampy edge of a pond on either side of the boardwalk.)

Have I mentioned I love these woods, and this path?

walk in the woods

path in woods

Whenever I can, I like to go walking in the woods. These are some photos that I took a few weekends ago, that I hadn’t gotten around to posting before now. The spring path was very muddy. Good thing I had a new pair of rubber boots (below).

muddy path

This area near Walkers Pond is very swampy. I love the green of the water and the trees.




There’s also a boardwalk leading to a viewing platform directly over the pond. I appreciate views like this.

boardwalk viewing station

Walker's Pond


dandelion 1

I took these photos a couple of weekends ago when I was walking in the woods. I don’t know why, but I love photographing dandelions. I also got some shots of some unknown (to me) wildflowers. The lilies of the valley at the end aren’t actually wild – I shot those in the back lane behind my home. All of them were taken with my Olympus camera, which I haven’t used in forever.

dandelion 2

dandelion 3

little white wildflower

yellow wildflower

wild strawberry


lily of the valley 1

lily of the valley 2

lily of the valley 3

lily of the valley 4

renewal – acorns

oak leaves and acorns

On the same walk where I took this photo, I also spotted some acorns on the ground. Actually, I spotted the oak leaves first, and then went looking for acorns, which I figured must be there somewhere. I was worried that the squirrels might have gotten them, though.

acorn and cap on woodland floor

I appreciate the tiny acorns from which mighty oaks can grow.

Photo theme for April: Renewal

renewal – forest reclamation

forest reclamation sign

On the same morning when I took this photo, I also saw the above sign on the woodland trail that I was following. They’re reclaiming some of the area for natural restoration.

(Full disclosure: I have been know to disregard signs like this.)

I appreciate renewal of the natural world.


Photo theme for April: Renewal

woodland cathedral

Autumn leaves at Westminster Ponds Conservation Area

This morning I decided to go for a walk in the woods. I’ve been doing this a lot lately, because walking in the woods is good for me. Plus it’s a great place to take photographs. And I feel most alive when I’m taking photographs.

So I went for a walk in the woods. And it was awesome. And by awesome, I mean… [no words].

When I was much younger, I wondered why church services were the way they were. I mean, why they started with music, then prayer, then some more music, then some readings, then a sermon/homily/ersatz lecture… I really wanted to know. Was there a reason? Or was it arbitrary?

Then I read a lot of the work of an amazing psychoanalyst named Marion Woodman. And something in one of her books (sorry, can’t remember which one) caught my brain. It was about ritual. About how ritual is for taking humans on a journey to a meeting with the divine… and then returning to regular life. Hopefully transformed.

At a time when church has lost its meaning for many people, ritual runs the risk of becoming unconscious and unmediated. As I walked through the woods on a Sunday morning, I suddenly realized I was participating in a ritual. I dressed for my walk in special clothes before I left home. I travelled to a special place. I left my car in a parking lot. I entered a sanctuary. I began looking with my “photography” eyes. Laser focus. Shifted consciousness. I shot. I waited. I looked. I shot. I waited…

I didn’t walk far. There was no place I needed to be. I nearly fell over several times, though – standing too quickly after kneeling and praying shooting into the sun…

I turned around and started to walk back out. I didn’t want to leave, but I had soaked up as much of the path as I could, with my dazzled mind and my iPhone.

Then I looked up a hill. There was a sign asking not to climb it. I stopped seeing the sign. I climbed.

At the top, I knew exactly why I had come. I lay down on the forest floor on a bed of dry leaves, and stared at the sky. After a while, I posted this. Then I just lay there, looking. Seeing. Breathing. Feeling.

I heard the crows before I saw them. They flew above the trees, heading south. Flying and flying and flying over, too many crows to count. Hundreds of crows – a dozen or so at a time. At one point my mind kind of bent, and I wondered if it was the same dozen crows, just looping over and over again. Because I couldn’t believe there could be that many crows. I love crows.

When I was full – of sunshine and redyellow leaves and black wings on blue sky – I walked out a second time. Church was over for another week.

©2011, Michelle Lynne Goodfellow. All rights reserved.