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Life for the past three and a half years has been filled with demands, deadlines, and all the stresses that go with  graduate studies. Too often I have gotten lost in the whirlwind of expectations and “busyness” of completing assignments, papers, presentations, and making the grade. Today that is behind me. I find myself relishing the freedom of nothing to do, at least for this grace time before starting a new job. Throughout these years however, when I felt burned out “to the max,” I discovered that running away to the woods for a brief respite where I could walk, listen to the sounds of nature and silence, and clear my brain of all things academic was the best medicine for all that “ailed” me. This year the snow came early, so my walks have been through the snowy woods. To my delight, I found once again that snow not only adds beauty and mystery to a scene, but a quietness that calms one’s thoughts while at the same time injecting a sense of wonder and awe to the moment. Wow. Something so simple as a walk through the woods on a snowy day brings peace and contentment that no amount of education or material gain can match. I am grateful for quiet walks in the snowy woods.



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