Posted in Air, Autumn, Change, Covid-19, Earth, Exploring, Gifts, Gratitude, Heartfulness, Hiking, In these strange times, Life, Love, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Poetry, Portals & Pathways, Quotes, Spirit, Spiritual practices, Travel, Walking & Wandering, Walktober, Wonder, Woods, Yoga

Before the fall

On the Hemlock Trail (New Germany State Park in western Maryland)

by David Wagoner

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.

Turkey tails.

Before I go any further in this post, a Walktober reminder:  When you’ve posted your walk, please leave your pingback or link on this post:  You are here.  (If you leave it on one of my other posts, no worries.  I’ll find it.  But it’s easier for me if they are all in one place.)  If you need more information, you’ll find that at the same link.

It was so green just a few weeks ago.

My yoga teacher recently read the poem “Lost” during class.  It is one of my favorite poems and I was happy to be reminded of it.  We are studying the concept of Isvara right now.  God, higher power, higher self, sovereign self… there are many names.  We have been talking about the concept as something you experience rather than as something outside of yourself.  It’s that embodied feeling of the sacred or holy: awe, wonder, love, joy, sorrow, longing.  “Lost,” in a way, put words to how to find it through stillness, waiting, beginner’s mind, and being Here now.

Ferns and hemlocks.

The photos for today’s post are from the hike that M and I took in New Germany State Park in western Maryland near the end of September.  We hiked the Hemlock Trail and picked up a few other trails along the way to expand our hike and increase our mileage.  It was a beautiful day.  There were hints of autumn color here and there, but not much.  I’ve been looking at recent photos online from that area and the trees are at peak color now.  It’s too bad it takes about five hours to drive out that way.  The colors look glorious in the images.

Following the trail.

We saw a few deer, some birds, a couple of squirrels, and several chipmunks.  Lots of trees and ferns, of course.  Other than that, not another soul was out there.  We pretty much had the park to ourselves except for a park ranger (who we saw later, just before leaving the park).

Looking up every now and then.

I suppose that’s why it’s called “the best kept secret.”  The park is nestled between Big Savage Mountain (2900 feet) to the east and the eastern Continental Divide and Meadow Mountain to the west.  There is no cell phone service in the park.  If you’re hiking or camping and need a phone, there’s one in the Lake House (911 only) or you can use this:

How long before no one knows what this is?

I don’t know why — nostalgia, perhaps — but I was delighted to see that the phone booth is still there.

Looking down every now and then.

I try to get out and visit hemlock trees as often as possible.  There is an invasive creature (hemlock woolly adelgid, Adelges tsugae) threatening the eastern hemlocks.  It basically starves the tree to death by feeding on the sap at the base of the needles, disrupting the flow of nutrients and causing the needles to fall off.  So many trees have died due to invasive creatures during my lifetime.  It’s sad to drive through parts of northeast Ohio, for instance, and see all of the dead ash trees.

Living together.

Time for me to move along.  Thank you so much for stopping by today and joining me for a short part of a hike in New Germany State Park.  Let’s meet out at the Point for sunset.  It’s scheduled for 6:18 PM.  It’s a chilly and breezy.  You’ll want a jacket, maybe a hat and gloves.  I had to wear a hat and gloves when I went for a hike this morning.  We had our first frost yesterday morning (and our second this morning).

Please be safe, be well, and take a little time to just Be.

When the sun came out.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  3,011)  Hemlock trees.  3,012)  A hike at Pocomoke River State Park this morning.  3,013)  Ferns.  3,014)  Sunlight and shadows.  3,015)  Wind and air, breath and breathing.  

One more look before we go.


Robin is... too many things to list, but here is a start: an artist and writer; a photographer and saunterer; a daughter and sister and granddaughter; a friend, a partner, a wife, a mother, and a grandmother; a gardener, a great and imaginative cook, and the creator of wonderful sandwiches.

10 thoughts on “Before the fall

  1. Oh yay delight! The discussion in your yoga class is exactly what I was speaking of, in different words, yesterday! See, for me the poem and that expression of ‘HP” comes just like that, and for years, i have continued to seek permission and enoughness for my own working concept. This has limited it severely and caused grief and/or angst. Someone pointed out To Thine Own Self Be True, which I heard, and then glossed over. This being okay for even a small moment, free of being told this or that is not enough, provided that crack in the door, that allowed me to experience the ‘response’ or noticing of that HP answer in the light of the leaves of the tree and in the quote from Morning Trip (366). Flowing and open with NO effort simply Joy for which simply returns me to THANK YOU HP! Standing still, where I am, it DID find me!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Elisa! Which Morning Trip post was it? I can include it in the Walktober walks. I just want to be sure which one it is (so that I don’t link to the wrong one). A pingback is when you link to a post and then it shows up on the linked post. For instance, if you linked to this post of mine, it would show up in the comments as a pingback. It doesn’t work the same if you just link to my blog. It has to be linked to a specific post.


  2. What a beautiful walk! All that green is so calming. Yes, for sure, autumn reds, yellows, and oranges are striking, but ’tis mighty good to be reminded again how lovely trees are when they leaf out.

    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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