Nelson and I have been moping about for the last week, trying to find a rhythm to this new life. I’m fairly certain he misses his partner in crime, Chaco. I’m also fairly certain I’m reading too much into it. (Hey! I’m at home all day with him and until he starts speaking back, I get to make up both sides of the dialog.)
After several failed attempts at finding a good walking loop near our home — which is beautiful and wooded, and not pedestrian friendly — we adventured to a nearby state park. To my delight, we found a significant map of hiking trails, a lake, long stretches of woods where the cackle of birds overhead sounded like a soundtrack, and fresh air that left me delirious.
Hikers know what I mean. When you reach a point in the hike, breathing in air so clean it smells sweet. You swear you can almost taste it, and you get a little dizzy breathing hard. We found that state of euphoria this morning. After a sweaty hour of climbing trails, we emerged from the forest with renewed smiles.
I needed to explore, feel my heartbeat pound and know I’m with nature. You can take the girl out of Colorado, but you can’t take the pacifist, mountain-loving, Birkenstock-wearing, folk song-singing out of the girl.
Hot tamales, this Garden State is pretty:
Thirty minutes one way, I’m in midtown Manhattan. Thirty minutes the other: forest nirvana. I’m starting to think this part of New Jersey is a hidden gem where the residents appreciate shows like “Jersey Shore,” because it deters more folks from finding them, and the truth. The state seems to be known for orange tans and the violence of Newark. While I don’t doubt those things exist, there is a lot more to the story.
I’m looking forward to discovering the many nuances of my new community.
In the meantime, I’m off to pilates and Nelson is snoring under the dining room table. I should let Phil the groundhog know it is probably safe to cavort outside today.
“Ha ha ha! You will never be safe. Even in my sleep, I hunt you, you dirty rodent!”*
*I might be losing my mind.