A Woodsy Morning by Sharla Shults

Join me and let’s take a walk: A walk in the woods, a step back in time when I was adventurous and inquisitive. Picture this while opening your mind to discovery and reflection. . .

It is a cool, crisp early winter’s morning. Temperatures are just beginning to drop into the 60s during the day and low 40s at night. Soft rays of sunlight find their way into my bedroom, peeping from behind the heavily draped windows. Outside, shards of frost dust the remaining hints of color left over from autumn.

My brain comes alive with a tickling sensation as rich aromas of steaming coffee and freshly baked cinnamon rolls reach my nostrils. Mama is already busying herself in the kitchen, and I cannot wait to join in on the morning rituals. I bounce out of bed running in my sock feet toward the kitchen hoping to not arrive too late for one of my favorite times of the day: watching and listening to the ‘percolator song’. I giggle with excitement as I enter the room to the tune of the dark liquid pulsating up and down within its small glass bubble. Watching intently, my eyes never shift away until the last bloop has hissed.

Today is a special day because there is no school—something about the radiator not working which would mean no heat in the long halls and classrooms. The only bad thing about a ‘free’ day from school is that it will have to be made up later on in the year. Oh, well, today is today and no school means NO homework.

“Hey, Kitten,” Mama called. “How would you like to take a walk with me?”

“Where are we going, Mama? You’re not thinking about walking into town, are you?” I frown. This thought immediately comes to mind for just the day before Daddy put Mama’s car in the shop for repairs. She really needs a new car but the old ‘54 Ford will just have to do for now.

“Silly girl! No way we are going to walk the long distance into town. We are going to take a nature walk—a walk through the woods. I already know you have your special places you like to go so let’s take a walk together and talk about what you see and hear.”

Behind our house is nothing but woods. One selling feature when Daddy bought the house is the fact there aren’t any neighbors right next door and the backyard extends into a wooded area. There is plenty of yard in which to play and the woods often offers a place of solitude. Of course, I am not allowed to venture very far, just along the narrow trail to the little creek a short walk away. Sometimes I venture off the trail but it is not very long before I am right back where I started. The slightest unfamiliar sound sends me skedaddling like a cat chasing a squirrel!

“Grab your coat. It’s chilly out this morning. We don’t want you to catch a cold. Your mittens and scarf are over by the door. I’ll get mine and meet you outside.” Mama turns and walks toward her bedroom. I gather my coat, which still clumsily drapes across the kitchen chair where I left it the day before, put on my mittens and scarf, and walk out the door into the biting air.

The walk is surprisingly invigorating right from the very start. Deep breaths of cold air awaken my senses as I skip along the narrow wooded path. Tiny little clouds of fog are expelled with each breath. I spin around watching sunbeams glance off the dew-laden foliage as daybreak brings forth new sights, sounds and raw smells of the earth. The stillness of the night before is no more. The songs of the birds break through the silence and the crackle of dried leaves underfoot send tiny critters scurrying back into their woodsy safe haven.

We laugh, we talk, I ask questions, Mama provides answers. We pick a few wild blackberries being extra careful not to reach too far into the brambles. We forgot to bring a paper sack or bucket so we stuff our coat pockets until they can positively hold no more. As we walk on, I tell Mama about my secret place near the creek: The place I like to go just to be by myself (away from people, that is, for I never was ever really alone). I daydream of treasures and mystery even planning out my whole future, Prince Charming and all! Mama smiles the whole time knowing she has memories of similar experiences when she was a child. We pause to rest on a fallen tree trunk scaring a small rabbit nearby. Of course, it is debatable who really scared who!

A sense of sadness engulfs the scene when Mama says it’s time to walk back home. A walk among nature on that woodsy morning highlighted moments of fantasy within reality: dancing with the fairies and holding hands with Mother Nature.

What about you? Have you taken a walk lately? Better yet, have you taken your son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter, niece, nephew, friend for a walk? Put away the iPad, TV and cell phone or whatever might be occupying your time at the moment. Tune the Internet out and the outside world on. Whether spring, summer, fall or winter, capture the moments: Observe life at its best, listen to life’s songs, embrace life’s bounties, breathe the breath of life and savor life to its fullest!

Moments Captured

’Tis hard to encapsulate a full day
From morning dew to midnight sky
For a nimiety of snapshots exist
Each caught in a blink of an eye

Above still dark trees and somber sky
Diffused light of early morn emerges
Beetles nibble on the dark-green foliage
As sensations of nature’s splendor surges

Morning glories stretch and yawn
Unfurling shades of fuchsia that glow
Bees fly toward the inner beacon
Extracting nectarines deep below

Atala butterflies hover in the wind
Blue-green incandescence on their wings
Red-orange abdomens expand in the sun
Exploiting new life that morning brings

An angel of light appears in the midst
Casting sunbeams that overcome the shadows
Ladybirds feed on the whitefly and aphids
Revealing beneath their wings moments captured

©Echoes
Sharla Lee Shults

BIO  

Sharla Shults is a semi-retired educator whose classroom is now the online environment. Her expertise spans a broad spectrum from reading to ESOL training to mathematics. Truly unique are the instances when her former classroom students once again cross paths with her for they have become teachers themselves working toward additional certification endorsements.

Sharla’s passion for writing is poetry: Historical and inspirational. Become acquainted with her writing by visiting http://sharlashults.com/ where links are accessible to her books and blogs.

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39 thoughts on “A Woodsy Morning by Sharla Shults

    1. Sharla

      Those of us with the memories of the woodsy walks are indeed blessed for they are truly unique in their sights, sounds and smells. So glad the imagery in the walk today brought back such wonderful memories.

      Reply
  1. Delinda

    This reminded me of the woods behind our house when I was a child. Thanks for bringing back peaceful memories. Now I think I’ll go walk in my woods.

    Reply
    1. Sharla

      Delinda, sometimes it only takes a spark, a moment’s recollection to initiate something that has been neglected or put aside because of busy schedules. If you have not done so already, by all means stop and take that walk in your woods! Clear the mind and invigorate the soul! Who knows what inspiration might be gathered for a new writing.

      Reply
  2. Martha Love

    Sharla, your memoir is delightful and certainly brings back memories, beginning with the “percolator” and it’s little bubble top singing its song, as you say. I remember my mother putting on another pot of coffee all day long, beginning with that first morning brew. Now before I take an early morning walk that you have just inspired, let me say that your poem from your book “Echos” is so very beautiful and alive.

    Reply
    1. Sharla

      Martha, your reflection on Echoes poetry as being ‘alive’ definitely strokes my heartstrings! It has always been a desire for my readers to see and feel the imagery portrayed. Poetry is not an easy task for it must pull one into the depths of despair or heights of happiness as it weaves life’s web.

      Reply
  3. Trish Jackson

    How wonderful to go back to nature, and to reflect on the simple things one loved as a child. This post really does make one appreciate the need to stop and smell the roses, and to try and feel the childish joy we all once experienced.

    Reply
    1. Sharla

      Ah-h-h-h, Trish, childish joys are at the top of the list to be remembered! The laughs, the giggles, the sighs, the cries. All of these are among treasured moments captured.

      Reply
  4. Marta Merajver-Kurlat

    This essay fosters a connection with Nature that many of us, city dwellers, keep losing and need to recover. It is indeed among the rustling leaves of the woods that we can “Observe life at its best, listen to life’s songs, embrace life’s bounties, breathe the breath of life and savor life to its fullest!”

    Reply
    1. Sharla

      Marta, time to venture outside the city! Take a day off and just go for it. You may find inspiration for some new writing that is waiting for the right moment to surface.

      Reply
  5. Clayton Bye

    My grandfather had a 2,000 acre farm that was largely forest. I have terrific memories of tramping through these giant trees to get to the river on his land. This is where the largest part of his trap line was situated. We trapped beaver and muskrat, and in the forest, pine martin, fisher, and fox. We also caught an occasional wolf or lynx. Whatever you think of trapping, these experiences forever made me a part of the forest and rivers, of the land.

    And I still percolate my coffee. There’s nothing like it.

    Sharla, thank you for sharing.

    Clayton

    Reply
    1. Sharla

      Clayton, I still have my mom’s percolator pot but have not pulled it out of moth balls so to speak in years and years. Perhaps it is time to relive that percolator song. I do remember the coffee having its own distinct taste. Enjoyed reading your reflection on memories revived through our little walk. Being part of the land is the epitome of being alive.

      Reply
    1. Sharla

      Yes, Cynthia, back in the 50s and 60s times were much different, safer and less scary for sure, especially when it came to walks. Time outdoors played a major role during childhood days. So wonderful that you had nature and all her beauty come pleasantly to mind through our morning walk.

      Reply
  6. Linda Hales

    As a child, I walked for miles, hiked and sometimes rode horses and cycled with friends, We learned the landscape, the roads and the woods for miles around but those were times of innocence and curiosity and we had little or no fear. It was simply exploring and our parents understood the need for that. Sadly, we can no longer allow our children to wander out of our sight for fear that their safety will be violated in some frightening way. Indeed, the mere act of permitting a child to walk alone is regarded as neglect and that is a sad testimony to the destruction of innocence that has become our reality. I love that your Mother appreciated the adventure of walking with you in the woods and kudos to the parents who are taking the time out of their busy days to go exploring with their children.

    Reply
    1. Sharla

      Linda, you touched upon a sad but oh-so true aspect of today’s society whereby our children are restricted in so many ways because of the dangers always lurking about. We clothe them in this protective cloak that all too often snuffs out the adventuresome nature which would open their minds, hearts and souls to the world outside.

      Reply
  7. Cherrye S. Vasquez

    Goodness gracious, Sharla. It felt as if I were right there. I loved how you used words to carefully paint a picture of the scenery around you and clutching hands with your mom.

    Your writing is superb, and I’m sure many people purchase your books because of it.

    God Bless – Cherrye

    Reply
    1. Sharla

      Thank you, Cherrye, for such a wonderful compliment. Not sure about the sales but to touch but one is to touch many for from that one will come inspiration for another who inspires another . . .

      Reply
  8. Micki Peluso

    There’s just no aroma like coffee from a percolator. I was always up at dawn and out exploring the woods, and corn fields and as long as I was home by sunset, no one ever checked on me. I had no watch so I gaged time by the sun and to this day I always know what time it is without a watch. Enjoyable trip to childhood!
    Thanks for the memories.

    Micki

    Reply
    1. Sharla

      You are so right about the aroma, Micki. One just does not get it with the coffee pots of today…not the same, not the same at all! Freedom to explore and discover was the name of the game back in the day!

      Reply
  9. Yves Johnson

    What a beautiful blog. I love the way your descriptive words drew me into the scenes. Your story reminded me when I abruptly left worked and chased butterflies with my middle daughter and when my oldest daughter and I went camping. Thanks for your wonderful story.

    Reply
    1. Sharla

      So glad you enjoyed the imagery, Ives. One of the best compliments a writer can receive is for the reader to ‘see’ what the author is picturing with words!

      Reply
  10. Monica Brinkman

    Not only a fine article but an very impressive bit of poetry. Adore it as poetry is my first love. (I know – horror, spiritual author writes of beauty – go figure).

    This is one of the finest pieces of writing I’ve read in quite awhile because not only does it show us how much we miss of the simple, free, every day pleasures in life but brings us such deep beauty. Well must sign off now as I want to go for a walk.

    Reply
    1. Sharla

      Monica, interesting about your writing – horror, spiritual author writes of beauty! Who would have ever figured my math/science background would result in books of poetry! Just goes to show that we should never limit ourselves, instead let our only boundary be imagination and where our dreams take us.

      Reply
  11. Sandra Nachlinger

    Thank you for today’s beautifully written escape into the woods. I felt like I was there with you and your mother, and you reminded me of camping trips with my parents and brothers. A delightful post.

    Reply
    1. Sharla

      Hi, Sandra. Walks are always so delightful because they tap into all of our senses. It is indeed wonderful you could feel as though you were there and at the same time experience your trip down memory lane. What a great way to gather inspiration!

      Reply
  12. Susan Ekins

    I very much enjoyed this, Sharla. I didn’t walk in the woods with my parents as a child, but I walk in the woods as an adult, and sometimes I bring one of my young-adult kids with me. Nature is so soothing and it is a good setting for talking and closeness.

    Reply
    1. Sharla

      It is wonderful to hear of your experiences with your own kids. A good walk has a way of letting us leave behind the worries of the day and become completely absorbed in the wonders of nature.

      Reply
  13. Rosemary "Mamie" Adkins

    Hello Sharla, It as always is such a delight to walk with you. While others reflect in the woods, I walked with you in my heart and mind along the beach but reflecting nonetheless. My greatest peace was when taking those walks along the coastline and trying to see my reflections in the small tide pools as childhood.

    As a young girl, that crazy commercial from Folgers use to come on and that became my Fathers way to ask me to make coffee for him. When he passed away, that came back to me and as we spread his ashes, i hummed that tune. Thanks for the stroll!

    Mamie

    Reply
    1. Sharla

      Mamie, so glad the stroll brought back such wonderful memories. I can sense the smile behind your words as you reflected on your own childhood.

      Reply
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  15. TaylorFulks

    Sharla…

    What a lovely stroll through the woods, to a time much simpler and more reverent. Your descriptions are much like the dreams I used to have, and the forays I would take out by the creek behind our trailer in Central Texas. There weren’t many trees, but the creek was brimming with wildlife. It was a place I could play and pretend to be anything I wanted to be. Thank you for reminding me of the joy of outdoors.

    You have a beautiful gift my sister. Thank you for sharing it.

    ~Taylor

    Reply
    1. Sharla

      Taylor, good to ‘see’ you! The wonders and mysteries of Mother Nature offer inspiration on a daily basis. The joy of being outdoors is multiplied 10 fold and more when we just take the time to step outside!

      Reply
  16. Salvatore Buttaci

    One who provides such vivid description a reader can visualize precisely what that writer had in mind, in my estimation, is the most able of writers. Sharla’s walk in the woods becomes my walk in the woods. What she encounters I encounter. The test of the best is how well the writer’s words make possible a meeting of two minds: writer and reader. A very impressive piece!

    Reply
    1. Sharla

      Sal, I appreciate immensely you taking time to leave comments on my article for The Write Room! I feel so honored to be among such a great group of writers where I deem myself the novice or novices! As the writer of the article, your words truly warmed my heart in a HUGE way for what you said has been my intent from the inception of my very first piece of writing.

      Reply

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