Monday, September 13, 2021

Things Come, Things Go, And There Is Always Room For More

Nearly thirteen years ago I took my first hike at Hitchcock Nature Center.  It was one of the first hikes I did after moving to Nebraska. During that hike I stopped to admire an American Elm Tree in a clearing on the Wildwood trail.

An American Elm and its companion in a clearing on the Wildwood trail.

I remember thinking, as I admired the tree and the filtered sunlit clearing surround it, how peaceful it felt.  The tree stood there rather regally like it was the center of the forest.

This last week I went back to Hitchcock.  I came upon the Elm tree.  It was a sad sight. Time and nature had not been kind to the once majestic tree and his companion.  Not sure if this is the result of Dutch Elm Disease or something else.  Either way, it was not kind to this poor tree.  The amount of undergrowth that now fills the clearing contributes to the shabbiness and decay that is felt there now.  So sad but the world moves on.  Things die and others are born to take their place.

Time has not been kind.

The return to Hitchcock was the first hike in nature since I left the Appalachian Trail in September 2019.  All my other hikes and walks since my return had been city walks on concrete and asphalt, the only nature being the groomed lawns and parks of Omaha.  It felt good to be back out amongst the trees and feeling the packed dirt under my feet.  I didn't realize how much I missed this.  I thought six months on the Appalachian Trail had given me my fill of nature but this week I learned that there is always room for more.

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