“Sole to Soul”

posted in: In the Wilderness | 0

by Kathy Fuller Guisewite
June 7, 2020

I am a walker.
Short walks are fine,
but those long walks out in the countryside
open me.
Thirty minutes out
and my mind is still busy
with top layer thoughts.
An hour into the walk,
my breath and my feet are finding
synced rhythms
and my brain is beginning to dig
deeper, leaving what is surface
and meandering down into
feelings and understandings.

Walking enables my body 
to take the lead,
to silence what is unnecessary
and welcome mystery and wisdom
that are both beyond
the confines of my mind.
in these walking shoes,
under a sky so full of hope,
truths find me, 
truths that remind me of
the steadfastness of all that
God created as good.

Air.  Light.  Fields of gold and green.
Mountains.  Valleys.  Wildflowers.
Deer.  Cattle.  Birds and Bunnies.
We are all right here, 
looking each other in the eye,
and standing present to this day
as we are.
They are not me.
I am not them,
and yet we arrive to ourselves
and our interdependence daily.

At an hour and half in,
I arrive to the Healing Tree.
She’s just an ordinary tree by
the side of the road.
but when I see her,
when I lean on her and look out on
the mountains as she does all the time,
I feel stronger.
I feel like maybe we humans
will figure out how to be at peace
with one another just as the
fence is at peace with the field
and the breeze is at peace 
with the summer maple leaves.
Maybe we can come to know
ourselves fully
like the creek bed knows her whisperings
and the lone hawk knows his callings.
Maybe once we know ourselves
beyond our surface layers,
we can also grow to value
the goodness inside of us.

I feel this nudge while under
the Healing Tree…
that we shall always struggle with
peace among humanity
until we each make peace
in our own hearts…
that peace that believes
we are here by love and for love…
and that we are, truly, created in the image of Love.

After I place my hand on the 
Healing Tree and bless her
and our God for the visit,
I journey on for the next thirty minutes.
I hear.  I see.  I smell.  I breathe.
I walk.

Soon I hear a runner coming up
from behind.
It makes me smile to know
someone else
just passed the Healing Tree,
that someone else
is finding joy in this blue sky morning.
He comes even with me 
on the opposite side of the road,
makes eye contact, smiles, waves
and keeps on his way.
His brown skin was glistening
in the sun.
His young body was full of energy
and zeal.

Soon after this exchange,
I turned down the road
that leads me back towards
my neighborhood.
The honeysuckle was in 
full blossom, and I breathed
deeply to honor such a sweet gift.
Again, I became aware of a runner
coming from behind me.
The pace and gait were different from
the first runner.
I guessed it might be the gentleman
I often encounter on my
early morning walks.
He is much older than me,
and his beautiful eyes
remind me of my own daughter’s eyes…
dark and almond shaped.
Sure enough,
it was him.  
He delightfully came up beside me,
pointed to the heavens,
and said,
“Looks like we are in for a 
beautiful day.”
“I do believe you are right,” I responded
as he went on his way.

As I rounded the woodland knoll
that takes me to the hill
that winds me around to my own street,
that concludes my morning walk,
I prayed blessings upon those two
kindly runners…
blessings upon their stories, their lives, 
and their own quests
towards love and healing.
And I prayed that God would keep 
carving out in me
a path that enables me to
work and walk and live
and dream and love
in the ways that make for peace.

“Blackbird singing in the dead of night.
Take these broken wings and learn to fly.
All your life.  You were only waiting for this moment to arise.”

Check out more of Kathy’s work in her “Ponderings” blog: