I woke up early on a beautiful Sunday morning with no set plans besides to get shit done on my own time. I love Sundays like that, that feeling that you have all day to settle in before the week roars back in the next morning. I don’t get these Sundays at home to myself often - I swear there is always a prior obligation or I’m just simply out of town. Go to the woods, I thought! Seize the day, enjoy some solitude, relax in nature! It was a perfect plan. I got to the trail to realize that I was, in fact, the only person there (at least on the particular trail head area). I love when that happens. Usually. I walked through about 50 spider webs (seriously if I die of some rare spider bite today or this week, then I called it). I met a family of three deer taking their own Sunday stroll through the woods. We just stared at one another, cautious, but without fear. After a few minutes, I told them goodbye and kept on my way. It was a few minutes later that my heart started racing and I began to feel clammy and disoriented. Oh god, I thought, this is it, I was bitten by a black widow and I’m going to collapse right here on the trail and die alone. Nobody knows I’m here (sorry mom, poor planning on my part), nobody is even on this trail, I don’t even know if I have cell phone service out here! I stopped for a minute to catch my breath and said “okay we need to examine what’s REALLY going on here. The chances I am currently dying of a poisonous spider bite are pretty slim. Why am I having such a strong reaction right now?” It was in that moment, that scary, aching feeling of loneliness was staring me in the face. It was the first time I had felt truly, truly alone in a long time. It was just me there, in the middle of the woods. That scared me. I kept walking. I found a big tree, the biggest one I had found on the trail so far, and marveled in how small it made me feel. I flipped upside down in a handstand to change my perspective on the world, on my situation. I kept walking until I found the road again. As my body began to calm down, I wanted to keep examining this feelings. Suddenly I began to think about all of the wonderful people in my life who were currently or recently suffering from loss, uncertainty, illness. I thought about how in a few months, my life will be uprooted and changed when grad school finally ends and I have to make my way back out into the world. My heart felt so heavy. Why couldn’t I do anything for all of these people? Why is life so scary sometimes? I made it to the river, found a quiet spot on a rock, and sat down. The breeze washed over me, the water kept flowing steadily by, I could see the hawks soaring above my head. I am alone. But so is everyone else. And that’s what connects us, until the end of time. We are all alone, and we are all together.
Suddenly, it was all okay.