I had been spending a lot of time in the woods. I could sit still for hours in natural settings. The things I saw, the moments of beauty that wrapped around me like the morning mist, brought moments of Oneness with Spirit. I lived for that. The more time I spent in the woods, the more my intuition began to lead me to things. I would find place to sit just inside the tree line and then wait until I’d feel The Pull, a tug, a tightness in the belly. Then there would be clarity and I’d know where to go. Sometimes it happened within minutes. Sometimes I had to sit for a half hour or more.
Go to the woods, The Pull said. Yeah, right. I almost laughed out loud. I had an 8:30am class downtown. There was no time to go exploring in the woods.
Maybe ten minutes went by. Go to the woods, The Pull said. “Unrealistic”, I replied. But I felt something tighten in my stomach.
I was able to distract myself for a little while. Then it crept back in. Go to the woods, The Pull said and this time I could see the parking lot and the trail I was to go on. I knew exactly where I was being told to go. It kind of ticked me off.
“No”, I said again, in the silence of my brain. “No, I’ll miss class and it will be impossible to find a place to park.” Just the thought of it gave me that bad girl feeling and if I was anything, I was a straight arrow back then and I never skipped class.
By the time I had showered, brushed my teeth and gotten dressed, the feeling had intensified. I wasn’t speaking to it any more. I was giving it the silent treatment. I pulled out a bowl, filled it with cereal and grabbed milk from the fridge. I tried not to listen, I really did.
Go to the woods! The Pull said. Sigh. I glanced at the clock. If I left right now I’d be there in fifteen minutes. I gave in, grabbed my backpack and ran out the door.
When I arrived at the park, no one was there. The early morning sun streamed through the tree branches in ribbons of light. Wet dew anointed everything.
“Ok. I’m here. Now what?” This way. I was drawn to a gravel nature trail. I took off at a jog. As I finished crossing a field I felt Turn here! I swung off the trail and kept jogging just inside the tree line until I came to a blacktop path. Turn left. I did, soggy tennis shoes slapping the pavement. A few minutes later I saw a deer trail on my right. Turn there! I left the pavement, moved onto the deer trail and instinctively reduced my movement to a walk.
As I slowed down and walked silently down the deer trail I was filled with a deep sense of joy. If someone had asked me why I was so happy, I couldn’t have given them a satisfactory answer. I cannot find the words to explain how right it felt to be sneaking down a deer trail shortly after dawn following a voice that didn’t exist.
Then I saw the deer. She was on the trail walking slow but steadily, coming towards me. As soon as I saw her, though, I knew that she was not the reason I was there. I took a couple of steps off the trail to the left. The deer, unalarmed, took a few steps off the trail to the right. We gave each other space, circled around each other, and when I looked back, she had returned to the trail and was walking on her way. Me, too! The trail soon ran along the edge of an overlook. I looked down to see a small stream below me. It was a beautiful spot.
Sit down, said The Pull. “Happily!” I replied. I sat. Great view. I drank in the fall leaves, felt the air begin to stir as it warmed up. A robin sang. I looked down at the beautiful scenery below me and saw movement. There was something coming round the corner of the streambed. Trotting into view, coat glowing in the morning light, was a fox. I stopped breathing and blinked. Yes, it was a red fox!
The red fox splashed in and out of the shallow water weaving back and forth below me, always staying in sight. I marveled at the way he moved, how fluffy his tail was and how incredibly beautiful his coat appeared. I had never seen a fox before! The fox stayed below me for about five minutes before he simply moved on. I sat frozen for a few moments after that, unable to move, heart soaring with the miracle of it all.
I don’t remember specific details about the jog back to the car or the drive into town. I do remember that when I pulled into the parking lot and there was one front row spot waiting just for me. I was giggling to myself as I walked to class. I was actually early that day.
I’ve talked to many people about The Pull over the years. Anyone I’ve ever met who has spent some time in the woods knows what it is. It seems that once you have spent time in nature, you tune into it without even realizing its happening. It is not something you work at. It is something that is given to you. It is something everyone has inside, a doorway just waiting to open. Our relationship with Spirit is a two way conversation.
The Earth Speaks. Truly. And everyone is invited to join in the conversation.