Often when I am trying to sort through difficult feelings, I will wake up in the middle of the night and write in my journal. Something about the dark quietness of a house in which everyone is asleep that makes these feelings rise to the surface. And writing has always been my way of figuring them out, accepting them, allowing the feelings to happen.
When morning comes, my favorite thing to do is to put on my coat and boots, and take a walk through the woods behind my house. I've got miles of trails, and no matter what the season, striding through the woods always calms me, comforts me. About half a mile back, in the center of the woods, is a fallen-over tree to sit on, a place to think. Often I walk back and forth on the log, learning to balance.
This morning, I woke early to sunshine filling my bedroom. My husband had left early for work, and the teenagers were still asleep. I sat in bed, wrapped in my down quilt, and read through my journal, all the scribbled down dark night thoughts. New snow had fallen, and the woods outside the window were invitingly covered with white.
But the sound of gunshot erased the any thoughts I had about going for a walk. The Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving, the woods are filled with hunters. Yes, I know that since I own the woods, I could post the land and keep them out, but I don't feel right asking neighbors who have hunted on this land their whole lives to keep off simply because I own it now. I don't think it’s that unreasonable for me to stay out of the woods for a few weeks each year.
So perhaps I will drive to a state park instead, taking a hike at Pretty Colour Lake. I suppose I could put the energy into cleaning my house. (Okay, even as I typed that, I knew I was not serious.) Perhaps I'll go back to bed and try to take a nap before the teenagers wake up. Or perhaps, I'll listen to the gunshot and write in my journal some more, hoping that the sunshine pouring in the window will be enough to change my perspective.