I went for a hike today on the wooded trails in Robinson Nature Center. I like the open feeling in the December woods. The sparse surroundings relieve my stress from the busy holiday season. There is less confusion and congestion and more simplicity and space in the bare woods. Only single sounds and single sights. No canopy of leafy trees to crowd me. A single bird song to listen to and try to memorize for later identification. Was it a “creekataw” or “creekachee”? A clear sound without competition. Easy to be mindful and slow down in this place. One crunching sound leads to one squirrel racing up and over a tree trunk on the ground. I could see the squirrel carrying a round orange colored object the size of its head in its mouth. I wondered if I could see where he would hide it. Less is hidden between the exposed trees and on the crunchy leaf covered ground. The evergreen trees stand unchanged and bold among the greys and browns. Everlasting and eternal things is where to focus. My stress melts when I do.