Finding Clarity In Nature

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I woke up with an aching feeling in my chest. As soon as I opened my eyes, a million thoughts rushed through my head. Each thought made my body feel heavier and heavier. I couldn’t compel myself to get up. My head swirled with a mixture of doubt, worry and fear. I sighed in my pillow and slowly rolled out of bed. Laying around won’t make anything better. It won’t help me figure out how I was going to make ends meet.

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I pulled on a tank top, shorts and sandals. I filled up my backpack with protein bars, a bottle of water and some dog treats. With Inari and Enzo snuggled up in the passenger seat, I drove off. I chose a random hiking destination forty minutes north of my apartment. There weren’t many people there, and I was glad to be greeted by the green scenery.

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I walked down a dirt trail, my dogs ahead of me. I didn’t think twice about which direction I wanted to go. I simply walked and didn’t look back. I let my mind wander. I would let my thoughts flow then slowly bring myself back to the present moment. I focused on my surroundings. The shape of each tree. The color of the leaves. The texture of the dirt.

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A few miles down the trail there was a small river. As I got there, Inari jumped right in a paddled around. Enzo seemed a little overwhelmed by the current and decided to run around in the shallow end. I took off my sandals and submerged my entire body into the cool water. I laid against a large rock and closed my eyes, letting the rushing water flow pass me. I listened to the sound of the current. The sound of splashing water as Inari jumped in. The sound of Enzo running and panting. The sound of strangers walking by.

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I had felt so lost earlier. I felt helpless, hitting dead end after dead end. But there, at that moment, I felt light like a leaf flowing downstream. With a smile, I patted myself on the back. Even though nothing was going right, I knew I gave it my all. And I will continue to do so. Nothing will ever come easily. But with patients and hard work, I know I’ll eventually get to where I need to be. I know that everything will be okay.

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