Maybe its because I grew up here in New Hampshire, but I love walking in the woods. Since I can remember the forests have been around me and I have been around them.
The landscape of the Granite State is in my blood, I breathe it in and keep it in my heart. I love the mixed hardwoods and conifers that fill our forests. I love the damp smell of the earth and decaying leaf litter. I love the way a well worn path gives slightly to cushion my every step. I love the earthy red-brown softness of a pine needle carpet and the way that new cobbles rise on the path every Spring with the freeze and thaw of the earth.
On a cloudy day the woods are soft and dark and quiet and meditative. On a sunny day the dappled sunshine streams in through the tree limbs turning it into a cathedral. Bird songs pepper the air, woodpecker knocks echo cavernously.
For me this piney environment is a calming place to be. The morning rush of backpacks and lunch money, my looming deadlines and upcoming expenses fade away into the mossy green darkness.
For forty minutes I belong to no one but the woods. It envelops me in its comforting familiarness of sight, sound, and smell, and long for it again as soon as I leave.