Entryway to Beauty

One of the things about having anxiety is that it’s easier to close the door on my heart when things get to be too much.  Being highly sensitive means that it does not take much for me to find things to be too much.  The thing that gives the final push to the door of my heart might not even register in someone else’s mind.  But that is beside the point.  The point is not ever what registers to someone else.  I am not someone else.  My skin is not thick.  My heart is soft and resides on my sleeve.  I listen and feel…a lot.  And one of the things about having anxiety is that it’s easier to close the door on my heart when things get to be too much.  

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One place where I go to feel immense peace, is the woods.  I am drawn to the narrow trails that wind between the ‘pine trees that start half way up’.  Also known as Lodgepole pines. The kind of trail that looks like a tunnel.  Often I reach out and touch one or both of the trees as I pass through.  This morning on my hike, I walked in between two beautiful pine trees whose branches and soft needles caressed my arms as I passed by.  I felt a bit like a car going through a car wash, being brushed clean.  I notice a lot on my hikes, but one thing that never ceases to grab my attention is when a tree tips or leans over in to another tree, forming an entryway.

 Sometimes, I leave the trail with the sole purpose of walking through it.   A tunnel.  An entryway.  Also known as a passage, a portal, an opening.  Opening.  I wonder if the reason I find so much peace in the woods, is because there is a literal meaning to the entryways that I pass through as I hike.  Paying attention to places that I can pass through, places of beauty that register deep in my soul, actually release the grip of anxiety and allow me to open.  The trails and tunnels open me to sights and smells and touches of nature, with each pass through I enter a new space.  A new section of the trail, or a new spot off of the trail.  With each entryway, a new room full of beauty to be noticed.  The woods to me feel like a castle from my childhood imagination, full of rooms, each room full of treasures.  Beautiful treasures that sparkle and shine, treasures that are warm and safe, treasures that are colorful and vibrant.  Each entryway leading to a new place to explore.  New sights, and sounds, and smells await.

 When I am walking the trail, I notice a lot.  Mushrooms, trees, frogs, butterflies, flowers-and that is just one room, then I notice an opening, an entryway.  I walk through.  And then I notice more.  A scent like honey, a cardinal, the sound of  racing squirrel through the undergrowth.  I pass through the opening, and I explore the beauty.  On the trail, none of the entryways have a door and they are always open.  On the trail, open.  Open.  One of the things about having anxiety is that it’s easier to close the door on my heart when things get to be too much.

 Exploring beauty softens me, soothes me, and opens me.  It releases the grip of anxiety that often squeezes my heart shut, making it so much harder to walk through the entryways offering me their treasures.  One place where I go to feel immense peace, is the woods because the trail is full of entryways to beauty, open for me to explore.
 

LifestyleAnna Bonnema