We have a now made it a daily ritual in our house to go out for a walk in the Black Forest.  I still (almost) pinch myself in awe that I actually live in the Black Forest.  That I can step outside my door, pass 3-4 houses and I’m amongst the trees.  It is an immediate break from reality, incredibly peaceful, mind-blowingly beautiful and such a joy.

Dave & I are both working on improving our health.  Stronger bodies means we will be able to hold off illness & pain, such as his Tietze Syndrome flare-ups.  But these daily walks are also improving our  marriage bond, and our family bond.  Dane especially loves racing through the outdoors.  The added benefit for us is not just quality time with him, but also a tired Dino, at an earlier hour.  Score!

Thursday was particularly beautiful, and I’d remembered my camera and memory card. It was hard to not stop every 2-feet and hold a photo shoot of the little details in the forest (mushrooms! road markers from 1700! old bridges! ponies & buggies!).  I had to force myself to focus on walking at a good pace, enjoying with my eyes, ears & nose and spending time with my family.  A simple walk is a very complicated, multi-faceted task.

Twenty minutes from home,  Dave and I got very excited as we approached some natural springs.  The smell in the air changed, the forest floor got softer, mossier, and the foliage thicker.  Chatting about how the villages must have depended on this spring for running, fresh water, how life must have been even 100 years ago, we temporarily lost sight of Dane.  I realized it was really quiet, except for our voices, and quickly looked around, slightly panicked, for my youngest.  I spotted him just around a bend in our path, not even 100 yards back, quietly sitting on the forest floor, meditating.  It’s something he picked up from one of his favorite cartoons.  How could I get mad at him for dropping out of sight when our forest is this peaceful?  How can I get mad at him for taking full advantage of his surroundings to just be?