The morning walk

I woke up early today to go for a walk. Rather unusual as Saturdays would normally find me in bed until almost noon; either recuperating from a hectic work week or a late night out, or both.

My cat Hugo studied me as I put on my walking shoes.  He ran from behind me and leapt onto the garden post, watching me go past like a sentinel.  I was afraid he would follow me because there have been reports of stray dogs lurking in the area of late.  So I shooed him off.  The moment I turned and continued walking, I heard the bells at his collar tinkling behind me and eventually, in front of me.  He meowed around my legs as I stretched and warmed up my muscles. Finally, he got bored and walked away. 

It rained during the night. I negotiated my way gingerly among rotting leaves and rain-sodden moss. I tried to jog but the road felt slippery under my feet. So I walked. Briskly at first. Heart beating wildly. It’s been awhile since my last outing. 

I slowed down as I ventured down the footpath and enjoyed my surroundings. It was so peaceful; like being in another world.  The air smelt sweet – of grassy dew caulked in the fermented giddiness of overripe fruits, half-eaten by birds and squirrels. Some fruits lay squashed on the ground. Their rotting guts spilling out to feed the army of ants and buzzing fruit flies.

A walk through the woods was often an excuse for me to work through the many challenges in my day job. Of late, I found walking through the woods to be a good remedy for my writer’s block, too.  I have been working in fits and starts on my first draft for ages. And recently, I seemed to have hit a wall, leaving my storyline languishing in a void, suspended between despair and misery.  I felt self-doubt creeping in.

I followed the familiar sound of water gushing down a stream until I arrived at this clearing.  This is my favourite place on earth. My piece of Heaven.

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I closed my eyes and raised my arms to feel the warmth of sunshine filtering through the branches. A string of phrases and words rushed through my mind:

Have you ever felt so happy

… that it tingles like static racing through your skin?

.. that it allows a burst of joy to escape your lips?

… that it tastes so delicious, it sends a chill down your bones?

… that you hold your breath to register the moment?

Have you ever dared to feel so happy that it hurts real bad?

Perhaps this was what has been holding me back.  The inability to let myself go; to dig deep into my vulnerability and show it in my writing. To dare to feel so happy and naked and raw that it hurts.