Is there poetry in a piece of land?

November 9, 2010. I walked into the woods, focused on keeping a sharp eye for that particular spot in which I would spend an hour and thirty minutes, doing nothing but sitting, waiting patiently for inspiration to arrive, and gazing at the nature around me. As a frequent runner in the woods, it felt monotonous, almost “ordinary” to walk through them again, feeling the familiar, soft foliage yielding beneath my feet, smelling the brisk, pine-sweetened air, and gazing at the pure sunlight filtering through the caramel leaves, softly rustling in the wind. Everything I saw, I anticipated beforehand, remembering countless times in which I had hurriedly rushed through the woods in hopes of overtaking runners ahead of me… then I saw, off the course, “the spot,” my spot of land. Twelve gnarled old trees stood in a rough circle around a patch of land softly cushioned by dry pine needles.

This was like what they called “virgin” land; there was not a trace of any footstep, nor of any debilitating effects of the hand of man on it. In my mind, I was the first to step in it, the first to, in essence, blemish it with my alien, human presence. Indeed, I violated the peaceful harmony of nature in this spot of land by walking off, and bringing and setting a short log down in order that I might have someplace to sit on. Autumn leaves, like cherry blossoms, became hues of color softening the radiant sunlight, lulling me gently to sleep… After ten minutes of being taken, and being lost to the warm embrace of the deep woods, I remembered that I had a duty, that was, to think. With twenty minutes left I had to ponder about whatever came into my mind, however random it might be. As soon as I let go of my mental barrier, a storm of thoughts barraged my senses, ranging from the obligations I had for that day and for the next week, to gentler things, such as the lovely sound of a violin, playing itself in the autumn landscape.

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The trees brought about thoughts of landscapes both broad and narrow; their leaves reminded me of a field of corn, softly swaying in the autumn breeze. Thoughts accelerating, I thought of God, and of money, of friends, and of family, of music and writing and science and math and on and on and on. I had left my world into the paranormal world of my thinking mind, I, had immediately become “Man Thinking.” I did not notice the time passing by as I lost myself, swimming in the sea of my thoughts, letting the waves of imaginary voices crash over me, listening, listening to the siren’s song of love, of hate, of fear, and of- My watch rang. I had forgotten that I had even an alarm set, or even that I was sitting in the woods for that matter.

I woke up, and slowly, solemnly, walked back into the furnace of the real.