I spent some time during the last few days

being in the woods.

I think I am better for it.

How can one not be?

I was alone mostly, but occasionally with others.

I walked mostly, and at times road a bike.

The circumstances did not matter

the woods held their magic.

I stopped often and paused in the stillness

to breathe in

and look around

at the small slice of the universe within my view.

During one pause I noticed a slender tree

right next to me, near the trail.

I reached out and placed my hand on its smooth bark

gripping it lightly.

I felt a connection with this living being,

another creature in our universe

so unlike me but flourishing anyways

despite me and others like me.

I recalled an affirmation recently learned:

just for today, I will be kind to all living beings.

And for the rest of that day

I was.