Posted in Air, Autumn, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Gifts, Gratitude, Hiking, Maryland, Meditation, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Portals & Pathways, Quotes, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, Walktober, Water, Weather, Woods, Yoga

A walk in the woods

A late September day.

When no one is watching Mother Earth, and most of the time no one is, she sings softly to herself.

~ Sharon Weil, Donny and Ursula Save the World


A little while back I mentioned that I would be doing an October yogic cleanse/detox with Karin L. Carlson (her website is here).  Part of the purpose of it is to prepare for the cold months ahead.

My favorite hiking partner up ahead. He gives a little perspective in terms of how big the trees are.

The course began on October 1, but I put it off for a week due to our impromptu trip to Cape May.  I began it last Sunday, after our return to the island, only to find myself drifting away from it within a few days.  This made me somewhat frustrated and annoyed with myself.  Disappointed, maybe.  I sat with those feelings for a while and it occurred to me that in addition to my own issues (who go by the names Expectations and Perfectionism), the weather was meddling with my enthusiasm for the process.  Although we have finally had some cool days, summer keeps horning in on autumn.  Yesterday, for instance, we were in the low 80’s and it was quite humid.  It didn’t really feel like a time to be preparing for winter, wearing a scarf, or using oils to keep my skin from drying out.  (The humidity, as much as I don’t like it, is apparently good for my skin.)

Summer had not yet left the woods.

So, I started over with the course yesterday in spite of the heat, knowing that the cold will arrive eventually (today, in fact).  Some are predicting a harsh winter based on folklore.  The woollybears are said to be out in force and darker than usual this year.  I haven’t seen one yet, but I’m sure they’re around.  Acorns are abundant.  I saw a raccoon in the woods today and he was showing signs of a hard winter, too.  His tail was thick and the bands were bright.  The Old Farmers Almanac claims that’s one of the many signs of a rough winter ahead.  We’ll have to wait and see if these omens turn out to be right.

Leaning towards the path.

Then there were the Expectations.  I signed up for the October Panchakarma more than a month before it started.  That gave me plenty of time to build up expectations (fantasies!).  I thought I’d take the month of October and have a deep, at-home retreat.  I’d be doing long yoga practices once or twice a day, meditating once or twice a day, taking long walks, writing, drawing, eating in a yogic cleanse way, drinking spiced/herbal teas, and generally blissing out.  I’d be glowing, losing weight, becoming this enlightened being.  Ha.  Instead, I’ve not been doing most of those things, and found I was drawn to the things I’m trying to release.

Isn’t that always the way?  (You can laugh here, if you want.  I did.)

What’s around this curve?

My mind was up to its usual tricks and once I sat with that for a while, I found it funny, had a good laugh, and was able to get back to what it is I wanted to do.  The false start, as I think of it, turned out to be a good thing because it also gave me a chance to once more come to terms with my old friend Perfectionism, something I use as an excuse to quit the things I start.  Plus, our weather is turning towards the cold again.  It looks like it might stay that way for a while.

Curves and arches.

I should note, since I mentioned weight loss, that the October Panchakarma course is not about dieting.  While food — whole, nourishing, nurturing, warm food — is part of it, it’s certainly not the whole of it.  There is so much more to the program/process.

Stopping to admire the Y.

It’s only been two days since I restarted.  It feels different this time.  I let go of all expectations and I feel more willing to surrender to the process, so to speak.  Let things be what they are.  Everything (including life) is so much easier that way.

Tree pose.

The Walktober reminders:  This year’s dates are October 14th through the 28th.  I hope you’ll find the time to walk and participate.  (If you need more time, all you have to do is let me know.  If you’re unfamiliar with Walktober, you’ll find a link to a post about it in the sidebar, over there to the right.  Or, if you’re using your phone, maybe it’s at the bottom somewhere.)  I will probably do the round-up of the posts/walks on November 1.  That date depends on whether or not anyone needs and asks for more time.

The Official Walktober Post, the one that you should link to for pingbacks (or you can leave a link in the comments), is this one:  A Monday meander: The Walktober Post.  No worries if you leave your link on one of my other posts.  I’ll be on the lookout for them.


Thank you for visiting today and joining me on another walk.  We’re still making our way through the hike at Pemberton Historical Park on the Bell Island Trail.  Normally I’d be showing you some fall foliage by now, but I’m not sure we’re going to see a lot of color this year.  The leaves on some of the trees are just turning brown and dropping off.  There are still plenty of leaves left on plenty of the trees so that could change now that the weather has turned.  We’ll have to wait and see.

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

Into the darkness of the woods.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  876)  Taking a lesson from autumn and learning how to release.  877)  A cool breeze dancing through the woods this morning.  878)  Meeting a raccoon (who seemed startled to see me).  879)  The many moods of the sky today.  880)  Walking.  I’ve fallen in love with it again.  (Cooler weather helps!)

At sunset yesterday.


Robin is...

16 thoughts on “A walk in the woods

  1. Where’s the ‘love’ button? I do this ALL THE TIME…think I’m going to do something that’s very good for me but takes effort and then give up early or even prior to starting. And then I beat myself up. Eating right is one of those things. Exercising is the other. And I’m sure there are more. I haven’t laughed about any of that; maybe I should. It’s nice to know I’m not alone.

    Your photos are always so intense, I love them all!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Dawn. 🙂 I do it ALL THE TIME, too. It’s why I announce challenges, or whatever I’m doing that might lead to quitting, here at the blog. It keeps me accountable in some respects. It’s also helpful to have a friend or some kind of companion along for these things too.


  2. The paths are enticing – what is down there beyond where I can see? I especially like the last photo of the stunning sunset. I regularly promise myself I will exercise every single day. So I do. For awhile. It always seems like a chore to me, so instead of continuing with it, I beat myself up for not doing it. Which is stupid, because it doesn’t change a thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Carol. 🙂
      No, beating oneself up never changes anything. I think it makes matters worse. I do a lot of starting and stopping, but the challenges that I announce on the blog usually go well because I feel accountable in some way even though nobody would know or even remember if I just stopped writing about it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love your honesty and introspection, Robin. Expectations and Perfectionism is a natural part of human nature, I think. We’re always trying to create some idea of perfection… such a joke, isn’t it? Makes me think of the Dalai Lama – the way he laughs at how absurd we all can be. 🙂 I was thinking that the time to begin anew is always NOW, everyday. Yet, we spend most of our time in past and future, instead of being here in the present moment.

    I’m having the toughest time this fall, worse than in the past. Maybe it is the constant gray/rainy weather, but I don’t feel motivated to do much of anything other than the basic stuff like food prep and laundry (other chores are piling up). Only taking short walks, despite good intentions, only doing the weekly yoga class and not at home. I have the blahs! I keep wondering when the old me will come back, lol! I guess it happens occasionally and acceptance and a little self-care/nurturing is in order. Let go, let god. Be at peace. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Eliza. 🙂
      I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling this fall. Rainy and gray weather never helps with that sort of thing although it does help if you can get out into it once a while. I learned that lesson in NE Ohio where it the clouds arrive in late October and hang around (all doom and gloom) until April or May.
      Having the blahs isn’t all bad. Maybe it’s signal to rest and take care of yourself for a while. It may sound strange but I’ve had some healing times during my blah periods in life.


      1. Thanks, Robin. As is often the case, once I state something, the universe brings me help. I’ve read a couple of things about introspection, going inward in the fall/winter to rest and rejuvenate and embracing our shadow self. All good stuff and with some sunny days this week, I’m feeling better. Cycles of life!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Absolutely gorgeous, Robin. And I sooooo feel you on the Expectations/Perfection thing… Ugh.

    Just found out I will have at least three full days to participate in Walktober! Surely one of them will yield a perfect weather-wise one?

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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