Guernville was beautiful. More beautiful than I remember it. Last time I went up there was years ago and I pretty much stuck to the same woodsy campground the entire weekend because all I wanted to do was sit by the fire and write. Wasn’t into listening to the women’s music divas like my camping companions at the time.
So I didn’t get to see things like Armstrong woods back then, which is where I went hiking this weekend. Some hiking trails! All up hill, but when you finally get to the top, it’s totally worth it. Trees stretching on for miles. Green. Birds. Peace, until the other hikers come tromping along. I thought I was in shape from all those San Francisco hills, but I had to stop every ten feet and take a breath.
I actually did stop in a few places and journal as well, like old-fashioned journaling with a pen and a piece of paper and a nature-inspired attitude. Very peaceful. Nice. Shady. Surrounded by tall trees on all sides. Not like the city where I don’t even live close to any parks, and even if I did, if I went walking in them, they’d be full of joggers and you’d still hear the sirens wailing a few blocks away.
I so wanted to get away from all that. So needed to. When I was growing up and went camping, the middle of the woods, surrounded by pine trees, crunching brush underneath my feet, the scent of dust, that was the only place I truly felt peaceful. Spiritual. I wanted that back, so even though my friends and I were camping in a busy little rustic “resort”, I drove miles over to the Armstrong woods to be alone and commune with the redwoods. They really are red.
I wish I could say it relaxed me. Maybe it did, for brief seconds at a time. But I wanted the tree canopy and the exhausting climb to leech the tension out of me until I was bled dry and it didn’t. I’m in the woods and I’m not feeling what I want to be feeling. What being there did do to me was make me realize that I’m wound up like a top. Like a top that’s read to spin out of control into a relaxed, slack state, except that I can’t seem to do that. In the city, you expect to be wound up, so you stop noticing it so much, but in the forest, you expect to relax, and when you can’t…. you notice.
And I don’t even know why I can’t. Work, yes, webpage, yes, novel, yes, friends, yes, maybe I’m just doing too much. I had the feeling if I’d stayed in the woods a few months doing exactly what I did over the weekend–nothing, reading, walking, eating, nothing, star-gazing, book-store browsing, nothing–then I’d finally unwind. But there’s this thing called life, and it’s heavy and thick and full and it makes demands.
Today I finally have an appointment with that sleep specialist. After three plus months of waking up in the middle of the night and putting myself back to sleep with chemicals I finally am going to talk to someone about it.
Short work week this week, board meet Weds night and then it’s off to Vancouver. Very little will get done other than those things and maybe that’s for the best.