I didn’t set out for Baguio seeking redemption exactly a month after we
parted ways. But the tattoo artist I like only happens to be available on the 24th and I badly needed to return home to the mountains and to the lessons of trees.
In the dark dawn, I treaded Camp John Hay’s Eco Trail, slow and steady as the fog. I walked with only the intention of walking. No maps. No destination. No idea of the fucking trail, even, and armed with only a pair of terribly unsuitable sneakers. I was going only until my limits allowed me to.
For two hours I was in the constant company of kingly pine trees and bird call. Midway, I found myself on a large tract where the sun’s gentle and surprising ways snuck up on me. I hadn’t noticed it was already sunrise. I gazed up and realized I stood in the middle, ringed by majestic pine trees, like a guest being nodded to.
Sunlight filtered through tree canopies, until its warm hands were caressing my face. My knees weakened and gave in to the wet, reddish earth. I mourned what felt like the last, rediscovering how small one’s heartache is against the powerful arms of nature. It was a beautiful morning on the trail as tears flowed. I whispered, “I miss you. I let you go. Completely.”
I submit to the wisdom and order of things, understanding that instead of resisting and turning over every why and how, I must allow myself to be led to my harvest, the way it unfolds in nature.
Oh how powerful Nature is, unshackling us with Her stillness, with Her rawness. Surrender and She shall release you.
I came in to the forest a mourning woman, albeit on the brink of letting go of all unspoken bargaining and sorrow that imprisoned me the past month. The forest swallowed my grief. I came out a lighter, hopeful, and grateful spirit, ready to cup life once more. To be Ellen Bass about it, “hold life like a face between your palms…and you say, yes, I take you. I will love you, again.”