It’s chilly outside, but no problem. I’m in need of a walk in the woods so I bundle up and head out to the edge of our property where I join a trail that takes me on my journey. Ah, but now I have to decide: will I take a brisk cardio walk to my destination or a slow meandering one into the sights and sounds along the way?

Can I do both? I think so. I start out at a fast clip just to keep warm. I feel energized and happy, my endorphins flowing. I feel great! But to be honest, at this pace, I only see what’s right in front of me and my mind wanders to what to make for dinner. Maybe this is a good time to slow down. Actually the timing is perfect because I’m approaching the secret pond you see in this photo. I call it “secret” because so few ever see it. I rarely meet another human on this trail.

So here I am, surrounded by Nature in the late autumn light. I don’t want to hurry or think about dinner. I look around me and realize it’s impossible to be alone in the woods. I’m welcome here. And so I whisper thank you as I soak in the last of the sun’s warmth on my cold face. I kick up the leaves under my feet, and climb over and under and around the fallen branches and tree trunks that reroute me on my way home. And feeling bold and energized, I call out my thanks to all who are listening.

Back home, I wonder…did I take one walk today or two?