Walking in the Woods

It’s Tuesday and we’re back in Sullivan County. Beth suggested a morning walk, so we drove to a lovely path by a brook in nearby Jeffersonville, NY.

Stone Arch Bridge

If there’s a sound more relaxing than water running over stones, I have yet to hear it! As our daughter, Steph, said to me a couple of days ago, “Waterfalls and just water in general attract people.” We come from water and our bodies are, I’m told, over 60% water, so it makes sense that we feel at home and peaceful in or around it.

(Learn more about a not-so-peaceful chapter in this bridge’s history by clicking here.)

I feel similarly at peace walking in the woods, so a path by a stream is a little slice of heaven for me. There’s also a small family (Dad and two daughters) playing nearby. I love the sound of kids enjoying themselves.

Speaking of family, we attended a big, joyous wedding this weekend and danced our butts off together! This was a very happy moment for the four of us and I’m so glad we gathered to celebrate this nuptial with our friends.

Scott, Steph, Helen and Beth Bierko

Equally memorable, though,was the time we four spent cooking a meal, talking around a fire pit or finding a new trail and swimming hole near the Delaware River. It was a weekend of new, positive experiences for our family. My hope is that our children felt the same.

Scott and Steph on a hike

Being outside, recalling these happy moments and feeling the still warm, summer sun on my neck is the perfect antidote to stress. I’ll admit it – I’m experiencing some transition difficulties being back in our Sullivan home and preparing for a big workshop tomorrow. Luckily, I’ve come through a life passage where I can accept my discomfort without trying to always chase it away (thank you, Bradley). I now know that my mind/body moves through strong emotions. My job, if any, is to breathe, relax, feel, watch and allow (BRFWA, pronounced “Briff-wah”). Resistance is futile.

So, this spot in Jeffersonville isn’t really an antidote to stress. It’s a place where I can pause and BRFWA, where I can say or write and know that what I’m feeling is perfectly okay and, likely, temporary.

As a family, we also took a moment to spread the last of Bradley’s ashes outside of our home. Previously, Beth and I spread some of his ashes on a mountain trail (Berkshires) and in the bay (Cape Cod), but we wanted to complete the journey with our children. We loved him individually and as a family and it felt good to gather snd recognize our love, grief and gratitude. RIP, my friend.

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