Nature’s Way

In the woods where I walk, cairns appear. Sometimes weeks go between sightings, sometimes just days. Fellow walkers, in some whimsical collaboration with nature, create these ancient monuments to time, ceremony, firmament, orientation.

Here, the cairns say, for whatever reason.

Here I am.

Here and now.

Look here.

Go here.

For centuries, cairns both small and large, were used as grave markings, as defensive structures, and in religious ceremonies. In moderns times, they are known primarily as notes of direction — which way to go, where to turn, how to get from here to there.

When I walk in the woods, I walk in a circle. Left or right, this way or that, brings me back upon myself each time. And yet, these cairns still mark a way for me. From here, with cluttered thoughts and weary spirit, to there, with clear mind and lightened heart.

I never leave the woods without a new idea or a new perspective. And the cairns guide me. Here, they say, just come here.

©2012, Jen Payne

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